Grierson’s emphasis on realism had a profound long-term influence on Canadian film. “Art is not a mirror,” he said, “but a hammer. It is a weapon in our hands to see and say what is good and right and beautiful.”
John Grierson, considered the father of the documentary film, was the first Commissioner of the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and wrote the bill that went before Parliament creating the then National Film Commission in 1939.
By 1939, when he arrived in Canada, Grierson was a well-known filmmaker and considered the founder of the British documentary movement. It was John Grierson who coined the phrase ‘the documentary film.’
The French had been using the word documentary to describe travel or exploratory films. Grierson said, “Documentary is the creative interpretation of actuality.”
Prime Minister Mackenzie King was in favour of developing Canadian film and supported the founding of this new board and the invitation to bring Grierson to Canada.
This year marks the 46th anniversary of Land Day, which commemorates the events of March 30, 1976, when six Palestinians from Arab villages inside the Green Line were shot and killed by Israeli forces while protesting the confiscation of 5,500 acres of land from the Galilee. Since then, Land Day has been commemorated by Palestinians inside Israel as well as in the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem and around the world | Five articles
In Palestine rallies and marches mark Land Day. In the towns where the six martyrs were killed 46 years ago, Palestinians lay wreaths at their graves.
Developments of concern related to U.S./NATO war hysteria
The NATO boycott campaign against athletes, artists and media from Russia is followed in Germany by the first attacks on Russians, Russian books, publishers, science and Russian institutions. Given the precedent of Nazi Germany, this is truly dangerous.
Developments of concern related to U.S./NATO war hysteria | Pierre Chénier
A matter of great concern is the persecution of Russian artists as a result of the U.S./NATO war hysteria which has become official ideology within the NATO member countries including Canada. The definition of persecution is the systematic mistreatment of an individual or group by another individual or group. In this regard, there is currently a concerted offensive by cultural institutions in NATO member countries to fire or boycott prominent Russian artists. In some cases it is because they refuse to take a political position of their liking on events in Ukraine or simply because hysteria has been fomented against anything Russian.
“When you enter Galerie Cité in Edmonton where Mary Joyce’s show ‘Culture of Resistance’ is on display, the first impression is a combination of energy, vibrancy, sensuousness and beauty” | Marina Allemano
The review below of Mary Joyce’s show, Culture of Resistance, was written by Dr. Marina Allemano, Retired Lecturer, Department of Modern Languages & Cultural Studies, University of Alberta, and an author, translator and literary critic.
(Kathimerini) – Mikis Theodorakis, a towering figure in Greek music who was instrumental in raising global awareness of Greece’s plight during the 1967-74 military dictatorship, died on September 2 at the age of 96.
President Katerina Sakellaropoulou said Theodorakis was a “pan-Hellenic figure” and at the same time “a universal artist, an invaluable asset of our musical culture.”
Since there are so many ways this question could be answered I decided to use pictures. Many of these would be shortly before or shortly after colonization began seeing as the camera was not invented until the late 19th century and colonization in most of Africa started within that period but they come the closest to capturing what pre-colonial Africa looked like.
Activities involving physical presence will be combined with online events, in strict compliance with preventive measures given the current epidemiological situation | Pedro de la Hoz
(May 20) – The 40th edition of the Festival of the Caribbean, scheduled July 3-9 in Santiago de Cuba, will feature the cultural resistance displayed by peoples of the region who are facing a neocolonizing onslaught in the midst of the economic crisis produced by the COVID-19 pandemic.
(Updated May 15) In truth, I confess that I never paid much attention to Mother’s and Father’s Day, perhaps due to the commercialism and false sentimentalism. As I grow older I am more attentive, especially this year of the pandemic, and more and more appreciative and respectful of my own mother and her strength, and the value of life. On her passing at the age of 93, we said “she moved the earth.” Continue reading →
Today (January 25) is Robbie Burns Day. 25 January 2021 marks 261 years to the day since Scotland’s national poet (1759-1796) was born. His polemics against the exploitation, injustice and oppression of his time enraged the establishment and won him enduring love from the peoples of all lands.
The statue of Robert Burns in Halifax’s Victoria Park Square is the centre of innumerable political rallies., as this one in October 2006 against the apartheid wall in Occupied Palestine | Photo courtesy of and copyright 2006, Howard Harawitz, All rights reserved. Continue reading →
The Nobel Peace Project is an international Mail Art initiative founded over 20 years ago in Nobel, Ontario by artists Susan Gold/Smith and AG Smith as a response to the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia.
In 2020, for the first time, the Nobel Peace Project has taken on a theme directly connected to the Nobel Peace Prize and is calling for submissions to celebrate and support the nomination of Cuba’s Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade for the award in 2021. Continue reading →
A woman’s going to send the drones So ready the covers of your Vogues The food bank lines are now miles long But a woman’s the one who sends the bombs Liberal feminism can’t be wrong When a woman’s the one who sends the bombs. Can’t get workers PPE But you go girl Nancy Pelosi All hail the bipartisan war parties Now Trump is gone we all agree George W. Bush has been redeemed The war criminals are on our team And there’s a Black woman on my TV screen And when she bombs I’ll yell yasss Queen We’ll force your countries to be free And little Black girls can finally see Themselves in drones and F-16s And this is MLK Jr’s dream Brought to you by Wall Street Brought to you by the elites We’ll never ever give you peace Fund military and police But a woman could be commander in chief See what can happen when you believe? This is gender equality So everybody take a knee The resistance heroes hip hip hooray The FBI and CIA The generals and NSA So please enjoy your new air base We’ve all forgot Abu Ghraib We all forgot Guantanamo Bay And none of them will see the Hague The Patriot Act’s so yesterday We‘re all in love with John McCain Make Lockheed Martin great again Centrist neo-liberals all the rage Kids still living in a cage The war party is here to stay And let’s lock Julian Assange away. We can’t let him expose the truth We’re never bringing home the troops Obama’s so cool shooting hoops You’ll all be crushed under the boot We’re plotting out another coup Billionaires we won’t prosecute We save that for moms of truant youth Those Timberlands were looking cute So let the oil companies pollute He’ll put them in the cabinet Add bankers to make up the set We’ll regulate the internet Corporate news is all you’ll get But a woman’s going to send the jets Are Yemeni women happy yet? This moment gives me all the feels A woman’s making weapons deals A woman’s making refugees A woman’s going to rob and steal Last week we were environmentalists But now wars for oil are feminist And history will reminisce How all the donors benefit Orange man is out the door Things can go back to how they were before Biden voted for the Iraq War How dare you ask for any more Your kids still super predators And his kid’s on strike number four But prison’s just for you and yours And really the crime bill’s all your fault This is the time for unity Bow down to oil and energy And let’s be friends with GOP And white suburban families There’s no more white supremacy Black woman deliver us the vote We’ll still be kneeling on your throat But a woman’s going to send the drones So volunteer to work those phones So we can bomb some woman’s home And probably waterboard her son They’re back in fashion neo-cons So four more years of settlements War parties are in agreement And let’s hashtag Black excellence Kamala is Vice President. The ladies join the gentlemen In sword, famine, wild beast, pestilence The four horse persons of apocalypse These days we call that feminist Is this the dream of suffragists? And I heard her bombs never miss And don’t forget to call her Ms. Madame, her honour, she or ma’am Get ready those detainment camps Muster the troops line up the ranks A woman’s going to send the tanks And all of us will give her thanks Especially weapons manufacturers, banks And thanks to those suburban moms A woman’s going to send the bombs I’m glad a woman is so strong To send our countries all those bombs.
Sean Connery died today at the age of 90. Much is being written on behalf of Hollywood with little reference to the famed actor’s ardent support for the just cause of democratic renewal, the right to self-determination, and Scottish independence. Reflecting his Scottish working class roots, he put his sentiments into action.
In 1992 he read the now-famous “Democracy Declaration of Scotland” before the massive ‘Scotland Demands Democracy’ demonstration held in Edinburgh, December 11 and 12, 1992 (pictured below). More than 30,000 people participated and endorsed the Declaration by acclamation. The Democracy Declaration united the new movement for a Scottish Parliament in the 1990s. Continue reading →
Sixth in a series on the issues and goals of the “October Crisis” and the forces in motion, reposted from TML Weekly.
Image from the film Les Ordres
Michel Brault’s film Les Ordres (The Orders) was made four years after the events triggered by the proclamation of the War Measures Act in October 1970. The film focuses on the repercussions of the War Measures Act, and more precisely on the resulting arbitrary arrests. At the time of the making of the film, the frustration among the people arising from the events of October 1970 was still palpable as a result of the flagrant violation of the individual freedoms of citizens. The film deals with this legislation and the reaction of the government of Pierre Elliot Trudeau to trample the rights and freedoms of citizens in the name of public safety. The message conveyed by Michel Brault is clear. He explains that he “didn’t want to make a film about the October Crisis, but rather about humiliation.”
Scottish journalist and historian John Wight says Britain’s historical songs and national anthem bear false witness to history, with ongoing diabolical consequences.
A nation state’s identity is reflected in its national anthem and the songs it sings in celebration of and in tribute to its history. In the case of Britain, those songs bear witness to a regressive and false rendering of a history of mass murder, colonial oppression and super exploitation. It is a false rendering that continues to have diabolical consequences today both at home and abroad. Continue reading →
A poignant post which I have reposted on this blog by Ukrainian journalist Dmitriy Kovalevich struck a chord with me. I had heard about those snipers he mentions, responsible for inciting Ukrainians against Ukrainians. One of them was in Canada just four years ago on a cross-country recruiting and propaganda mission sanctioned by the government of Canada. 
On February 22, 2016 the so-called documentary film “The Ukrainians/Les Ukrainiens: God’s Volunteer Battalion” (Leonid Kanter and Ivan Yasniy) was shown at the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) in Kingston, Ontario. Continue reading →
In this era of “reconciliation,” Indigenous land is still being taken at gunpoint. Invasion is a new film about the Unist’ot’en Camp, Gidimt’en checkpoint and the larger Wet’suwet’en nation standing up to the Canadian government and corporations who continue colonial violence against Indigenous people.
The film was produced by the Unist’ot’en Camp. The film, including versions with subtitles in French, Spanish or Portuguese, along with information on using it for community screenings or fundraising to support the Camp, can be found here.
Hailed in the Globe and Mail for “startling work” by an actor! Pushing back against the distortions and fabrications in “The Spy,” a new series based on the supposedly true story of Israeli spy Eli Cohen and his exploits in Syria. Cohen was a failed spy who was not able to secure access to the government or the military of Syria but who sent Syrian newspapers to Israel and ran what appeared to be a brothel in Damascus | As`ad AbuKhalil
Netflix “The Spy” trailer – hardly credible.
For too long, Israeli propaganda has gotten away with tall tales about the story of failed spy Eli Cohen.
Cohen was inserted into Syria in 1961 (under a false name) and was discovered and hanged by Syrian military intelligence in 1965. In another context, this story would have been deemed a disaster for the intelligence agency which recruited this spy. Instead, Israel has managed to spin and fabricate a large volume of lies about Cohen’s ostensible exploits. Continue reading →
This post is about an engrossing film produced in 2015 by a Syrian-Lebanese film-maker, Olga Naccache*, of the war on Syria, now in its 7th year. I just came across it thanks to a post on Facebook by Intibah Kadi. It is over one hour long, with English subtitles. It is gripping and many times elegiac. The music is vibrant. Continue reading →