For two days in April, students at New Westminster Secondary School were treated to several inspiring screenings of short films on issues of Aboriginal identity and social justice.
Thanks to the efforts of teacher Lorena Jones, the school library was transformed into a screening venue and attentive crowds of students filed in to enjoy the films.
REEL CANADA’s own Deanne Esdale attended the event and facilitated discussions with two audiences of 100+ students who were attending the social justice-themed screenings. They discussed issues such as the Rwandan genocide after a screening of the short documentary YESTERDAY IN RWANDA, and perspectives on immigration after a screening of the short film TAXI LIBRE.
Even larger crowds turned up to be part of the Aboriginal issues session, and watched THE VISIT, WAPAWEKKA, and the documentary MEMERE METISSE. Seeing unique perspectives on Aboriginal identity told by young filmmakers was refreshing for the students and sparked much great debate. They’d recently watched a hard-hitting doc about residential schools, and were happy to also see some positive stories and expressions of Aboriginal identity in Canada on the big screen.
The event was a real launching pad for discussions and students were energized and enthusiastic to share their comments. We look forward to connecting with the students of New Westminster Secondary School again next year.