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"The pulse of a community is defined by the health of each of its neighbours.” Those are the words, spoken in Swahili, that open the documentary Union Street. Immediately concerned with the needs of Vancouver’s African-Canadian community as an interconnected ecosystem, this film blends archival footage, present-day interviews, and a visually poetic contemplation of how space transforms through political policy and activism.
We’re taken on a journey tracing how the cultural erasure and displacement of African-Canadians in the 1960s has created a new generation of Black Vancouverites eager to rebuild and cultivate a future of belonging and safety for the collective community to thrive in.
The camera slowly moves towards, away from, and alongside both the documentary's interview subjects and the local landscape, never quite reaching a final destination but continuing to search onwards. This push-and-pull motif expertly matches the subjects’ difficulty trying to exist in impermanent and rapidly gentrifying spaces that once held places of worship, recreational activities, speakeasies, family businesses and refuge in many other forms.
Union Street makes clear the nuanced experiences of African-Canadians in their own words and documents their efforts to make the city of their dreams a concrete reality.
Ahlam Hassan, Programmer
Jamila Pomeroy is a Kenyan-Canadian WGC screenwriter and TWUC internationally-published writer with experience spanning print, new media and film. Her work often champions historically underrepresented people and narratives, while generating both
accessible, intellectually-charged and comedic storylines. She has created scripted and factual work for networks and publications like CBC, BBC,Telus Originals, Network Entertainment, Quibi, Showtime, Meta4films, Snap Animation, Red Bull Media, and Hypebeast. Union Street is her first feature-length documentary as a director.
CAST & CREDITS
November 4th, 11AM at The Paradise Theatre
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