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  • Own Voice

Speakers for the Dead

Directors Jennifer Holness, Sudz Sutherland
Year 2000
Run Time 49min
Genre Documentary
A quest to restore a lost cemetery in rural Ontario divides a community and reveals deep truths of the hidden history of the Black community in Canada. In the 1930s, a farmer buried the tombstones of a Black cemetery to make way for a potato patch. Fifty years later, descendants of the original settlers, both Black and White, try to recover what remains of this history but face fierce opposition by those who believe the truth must remain buried.

Through a blend of interviews with residents, reenactments, and footage of the cemetery excavation, this powerful documentary highlights an important but rarely discussed aspect of Canadian history.


Jennifer Holness

Holness is a director, writer, and producer whose producing credits include award-winning films Stateless, Guns, and Love, Sex, and Eating the Bones, and series like She’s the Mayor and Shoot the Messenger. She wrote and directed Subjects of Desire and recently received the Canadian Media Producers Association’s Established Producer Award, and directed an episode of the series BLK: An Origin Story. Next, she is producing the feature Rip Tide.


Peter Starr




BIPOC Stories, Female Filmmaker, History, Social Justice & Politics

Original Language


Canadian Distributor

National Film Board (NFB)