“For our optimism to be genuine as well as effective it must countenance what is actually so” -Charles Eisenstein

 

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22nd Season Opens in October 2016

For your film fix over the summer, check out the Awareness Film Night DVD library graciously housed at A Sea of Bloom, 2052 Otter Point Rd. in downtown Sooke.  Open daily. Click on “library” on this webpage to find the list of films.

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Season Finale: Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World May 11, 2016

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B.C. filmmaker Charles Wilkinson’s (“Peace Out”; “Oil Sands Karaoke”) award-winning 2015 documentary is set on pristine Haida Gwaii.  It shows how the distinct world view of the 14,000 year old indigenous society is co-mingling with an influx of progressive, modern urbanites to create a sustainable world that well may survive the formidable challenges of the 21st century.

From a woman who constructs solar power installations to people doing sustainable logging and farming and traditional fishing to legendary resolute Haida warriors, all of the remarkable people in this film are determined to keep their island home the beautiful paradise that it is.  Haida Hereditary Chief Allan Wilson observes:  “People from other countries are coming here to see what we’re doing….how do you fight your government and corporations over this land?  How do you fight over the water?  How come your Nation is so small and yet you’re able to do all of these things?”

Gorgeous footage and cogent tales of practical living and activism make “Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World” an inspiring and hopeful film.

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Farm and Film Gala April 13, 2016

 

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There will be vendors of farm produce and products, food, seeds and plants as well as tables with information from local farm and food related non-profit groups.  Tea and goodies made by the EMCS Culinary Arts students will be available by donation and there will be gift baskets to be won filled with items donated by the vendors.  We will be screening 2 short but inspiring films “Nourish: Food and Community and “Cultivating Healthy Food and Gardens for a Sustainable Future”.  The beautiful visuals and inspiring stories in “Nourish” trace our relationship to food from a global perspective to personal action steps people have taken.  It features interviews with Anna Lappe, Michael Pollan, a chef, a pediatrician and several organic farmers. “Cultivating” is a quick world tour of innovative ways in which communities have focused on making food production, from field to plate, a local endeavor. The tour travels through Victoria to look at Lifecycles’ fruit tree gleaning project.

Doors open at 6:45; films at 7:45.  Evening will conclude at 9:00 as usual.

Don’t forget to bring some cash for buying those yummy early carrots and greens, seeds and local foodstuffs.

 

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Guantanamo’s Child: Omar Khadr March 9, 2016

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Omar Khadr is the Canadian youth who was captured by American Forces in Afghanistan and spent over a decade in Guantanamo Prison.  He was released on bail in Edmonton in May of 2015 at age 28.  Based on the book by award-winning journalist Michelle Shephard who co-directed the film with Patrick Reed, “Guantanamo’s Child” chronicles Khadr’s life from his family’s arrival in Afghanistan from Canada through his capture when he was 15 to his time in the infamous Guantanamo Prison where he underwent hundreds of hours of interrogation and “coercive techniques”.  The film probes Khadr’s case from every angle with interviews with soldiers, prison guards and prison mates.

In the words of the filmmakers:  “For more than a decade Omar Khadr has existed only as a caricature drawn and defined by others: victim, killer, child, detainee, political pawn, terrorist, pacifist.  We had a simple goal in making this documentary – we wanted to tell his story by allowing him to tell his story….It was not a simple film to make.”

“Guantanamo’s Child” was rated as one the ten best Canadian films of 2015 by Vancouver’s Cinematheque.  It acquaints us with an incredibly resilient young man who grew up in a tragic and mind-boggling situation and quietly portrays the triumph of the human spirit.

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Permaculture Evening February 10, 2016

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Featuring the film “Inhabit” and a panel of Sooke Permaculture maestros.

Released in 2015, “Inhabit” introduces permaculture, a design method that offers an ecological lens for solving many issues related to agriculture, economics, governance and more.  This film presents a vast array of projects, concepts and people and it translates the biodiversity of permaculture into something that can be understood by an equally diverse audience.

For those familiar it will be a call to action and a glimpse into what’s possible – projects and solutions already under way.  For those unfamiliar with permaculture it will be an introduction to a new way of being and a new way of relating to the Earth.  For everyone it will be a reminder that humans are capable of being planetary healing forces.

The post screening panel will enlighten moviegoers about permaculture projects in our neighborhood and answer questions from the audience.  The panel will feature Tony St. Pierre and Erin Newell from Cast Iron Farm, a collectively run permaculture farm that hosts a monthly Sooke permaculture gathering.

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This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate January 13th, 2016

Co-presented with Transition Sooke

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Filmed over 211 shoot days in nine countries and 5 continents over 4 years, “This Changes Everything” is an epic attempt to re-imagine the vast challenge of climate change.

Directed by Avi Lewis and inspired by Naomi Klein’s international bestseller of the same name, this film presents 7 powerful portraits of communities on the front lines, from Montana’s Powder River Basin to the Alberta Tar Sands, from the coast of South India to Beijing and beyond.  Throughout the film Klein builds to her most controversial and exciting idea:  that we can seize the existential crises of climate change to transform our failed economic system (capitalism) into something radically better.  She notes that the changes to our relationship with nature and one another that are required to respond to the climate crises in a humane way should not be viewed as grim penance, but rather as a kind of gift – a catalyst to transform broken economic and cultural priorities and to heal long-festering historical wounds.

“Purposely unsettling…..ultimately encouraging”…..Variety Magazine

Post screening discussion will be facilitated by Transition Sooke’s Michael Tacon and will feature Glenys Verhulst from City Green Solutions, a Victoria-based non profit that offers home and building energy efficiency services and Larissa Stendie, energy and climate campaigner with the Sierra Club.  Moviegoers will be encouraged to create a list of ideas for lowering our carbon footprints and disengaging ourselves from the capitalist economy and then pledge to incorporate one of those ideas into their lives.

Thanks to the District of Sooke for their funding support for this screening.

 

 

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“Orphan Girl” December 9, 2015

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This docudrama is the true story of Helen Getachew Abebe who was born in a brushwood hut in southern Ethiopia.  As a young girl she lost 2 sisters, her mother and father and a leg to gangrene.  She grew up in an orphanage that owed as much to Dickens as to Mother Theresa.

After the many difficult times portrayed in the film, today Helen is a healthy, strong young woman with a son and a movie about her from which she is trying to raise enough money to start a small orphanage for street kids in Ethiopia.

“Orphan Girl” is being presented by Eric Anderson, aka Hum, Sooke’s own envoy to Ethiopia.  Hum is executive producer and assistant director of this film and also acts in it, although he is quick to point out that the director and other actors are all veterans (who did not take a dime for their work).  Hum will be attending the screening and will answer questions from the audience.

Awareness Film Night has promoted Hum’s work in Ethiopia at several of our past December  film nights.  This screening will be a benefit for the orphanage that Helen and Hum will  be creating.  All of the expenses of the night (theatre rental, advertising, etc.) will be covered so that every donation received will go towards their project.

The language of the movie is the national language of Ethiopia, Amharic. with English subtitles.

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“Unacceptable Levels” – November 4, 2015

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Have you ever asked yourself why so many of us are so sick?  This film examines the seamy side of the chemical revolution that began in the 1940s through the eyes of affable young father and filmmaker Ed Brown.  Join him  as he learns how chemicals have invaded our lives in the food we eat, the products we use and the very air we breathe.  Through interviews with top minds in the fields of sciences, advocacy and law viewers will find out about toxic chemicals in just about every facet of our lives and an egregious lack of regulations.  This may sound like a topic too painful to contemplate, but ignoring toxins does not make them go away.  Better to become informed so that you know how to lower the amount of toxins you and your family are exposed to and keep your body strong and resistant to unacceptable chemicals.

The post screening Q & A will focus on just that.

Hillary Childs, Registered Herbalist and formulator and owner of Huckleberry Hill handcrafted body care will present information on cancer-causing and hormone disrupting chemicals to watch out for in our personal care products. She will also advise us about chemicals that can be hidden from ingredient lists.

Glyse Clarkston, Registered Herbalist, will answer questions on ways to keep and clear toxic chemicals from our bodies.

Other panel members to be announced.

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Season Premier “The Yes Men Are Revolting” October 7, 2015

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For the last 20 years notorious activists The Yes Men have staged outrageous and hilarious hoaxes to draw international attention to corporate crimes against humanity and the environment.  Armed with nothing but thrift-store suits and a lack of shame these iconoclastic revolutionaries lie their way into business events and government functions to expose the dangers of letting greed run our world.  This is their third film (“The Yes Men” and “The Yes Men Fix the World” are both in the Awareness Film Night Library at A Sea of Bloom in Sooke).

“The Yes Men Are Revolting” was released to theatres this summer.  The Yes Men are both well into their 40’s and their mid-life crises and family responsibilities are threatening to drive them out of activism forever, even as they prepare to take on the biggest challenge yet:  climate change.  Included are a visit to the Canadian Tar Sands and their subsequent faux representation of an “Assistant Press Secretary” from the Canadian Office of the Minister of the Environment presenting a press release heralding “a new vision of international responsibility” by the Harper government.

More than the first two films “The Yes Men Are Revolting” reveals the real people behind the ruses.  Soul searching and weariness are explored, but at its heart lies a hopeful and inspirational message about fighting for change.

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