After clocking hundreds of hours watching a variety of documentary films, the programmers for the 24th World Community Film Festival, held Feb. 6 and Feb. 7 in downtown Courtenay, have chosen a diverse and dynamic program that is bound to provoke and inspire festival goers.
One of programmer Brian Charleton’s favourite films, Soft Vengeance, tells the story of Albie Sachs and the African National Congress’ (ANC) struggle against the racist South African government. It illustrates the history of the struggle and reminds us of the heavy price paid by the freedom fighters. In Albie’s case, a South African government bomb cost him an arm and an eye, but Albie wanted his vengeance to be a free and democratic South Africa.
“The ANC’s internal struggle with torture and retribution is a lesson this film teaches that is rarely seen anywhere else. Don’t miss this film,” says Charleton.
Saturday, 1 p.m., Lower Native Sons Hall.
Another favourite is All the Time in the World: Disconnecting to Reconnect, a glimpse into the life of a family of five who move to the Yukon wilderness to spend nine months living in a small cabin with no road access, electricity, running water, Internet, TV, phone or clocks. The family explores the idea of disconnecting from our hectic, technology-laden lives in order to reconnect with each other and our natural environment.
“I love the perspective of the children (10, 8 and 4) in this film” says programmer Janet Fairbanks. “They have such creativity and resilience.”
The cinematography is stunning and the story gives pause for reflection about the need for connection with each other, even on a much smaller scale in our daily lives. Saturday, 2:45 p.m., Sid Williams Theatre.
Programmer Gordon Darby recommends The Malagasy Way, which explores the culture and ingenuity of the people of Madagascar and their sense of self-reliability. Throughout their history they have had to develop a conservationist way of living due to economics, but out of that has come a way of life we could all learn from.
Saturday, 2:55 p.m., Florence Filberg Rotary Room.
In addition to these films, opening and closing night films are always programmer favourites. Plan your filmfest experience by reading the film schedule online: www.worldcommunity.ca.
Tickets are now on sale at the Sid Williams Theatre box office. (250-338-2430 or toll free 1-866-898-8499) or order online www.sidwilliamstheatre.com.
Festival weekend pass is $35. Opening night Friday $14, Saturday (including evening) $25, Saturday night $12, Youth under 20 $3. Some low income passes are also available.
The film festival is a project of the World Community Development Education Society.