What’s Your Pleasure Or Your Issue?

By Elaine MacLean
First published on Sept 26 2014

Health, the environment, disabilities, LGBT, fish, meditation, music, the arts?

The Antigonish International Film Festival (AIFF) is coming soon with something to interest everyone. Last week you read in The Highland Heart about our Friday night feature, Sweet Dreams. Friday night is always a special night but films are also being screened Friday afternoon, October 17 and all day Saturday, October 18. In this week’s column we want to encourage you to attend by touching on a few of the world class films being shown over these two days. AIFF

In the words of previous film goers, the documentary films chosen by the AIFF selection committee will inspire, delight, transform, challenge and touch you. Beginning with the latest film from the Canadian landscape photographer, Edward Burtynsky, see Watermark, a stunningly beautiful film that explores our relationship to water, how we are drawn to it and what we learn from it.

Do you meditate or are you interested in learning more about its benefits? Come see Free the Mind and discover how meditation can change your mind and help anyone from children experiencing behavioural challenges to former soldiers suffering PTSD.

Are older people your passion? Abeulas and Granny Power will remind you that people of any age can be powerful, influential and committed to issues important to many of us. With Musicwood, you will make connections between spruce and guitars and hear how this connection is being threatened.

If gospel music is your genre, see Al Helm: Martin Luther King in Palestine showing actors and singers from North America travelling to Palestine where they learn of non-violent changes among peoples of diverse backgrounds.

Our regular film festival buffs have always been interested in how persons with disabilities are inspired and inspiring. See Art From the Streets and the new film from Antigonish’s own Peter Murphy, of Seabright Productions. Murphy’s latest film Sometimes Life Has a Way of Inspiring You features our own Park Bench Players. To keep the inspiration going, experience the story of one of Canada’s most celebrated painters by seeing Winds of Heaven: Emily Carr, Carvers & the Spirits of the Forest which explores the spirit that informed Carr’s work.

A couple of hard hitting films being shown include When Bubbles Burst, a film that helps to explain the inner workings of the global economy and Fire in the Blood which examines the questionable tactics of the pharmaceutical industry dealing with drug therapies for AIDS with contributions from world leaders like Bill Clinton and Bishop Desmond Tutu.

Women are featured in many of our films, women from Alaska, Argentina, Colombia, Guatemala, Morocco and Rwanda. For those interested in the law or the justice system, see Gideon’s Army or NCR: Not Criminally Responsible. Gideon’s Army follows several public defenders as they work relentlessly for their clients and NCR exposes us to the experience not just of someone who has been deemed to be not criminally responsible but also the experience of a person and family who have suffered violence through the actions of the NCR.

To read more about these films and all 28 films being shown this year, check out our website for further details. antigonishfilmfest.org


Scene from “Free the Mind” film. Photograph provided by AIFF.


Leave a Comment