Agassiz film festival focuses on opening hearts and minds

First film depicts the need to heal relationships in Canada

The Community Social Justice Film Festival at Agassiz United Church will begin on Oct. 24 with a screening of 8th Fire: It's Time.

“When we enlarge our view of the world, we deepen our understanding of our own lives.”

This quote from the musician Yo Yo Ma, though a very simple sentiment, has always stuck with me. You could say that it sums up in just a few words, how learning more about our local and our global neighbours opens doors in both our minds and hearts. And you could say that it also is the philosophy behind  holding a Community Social Justice Film Festival.

Over three Thursday evenings, this small film fest will be held at Agassiz United Church. We begin on Thursday, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. with the film, “8th Fire: It’s time”.

This will take us on a journey through Aboriginal Country showing us why we need to fix Canada’s 500 year-old relationship with Indigenous peoples; a relationship mired in colonialism, conflict and denial. 8th Fire draws from an Anishinaabe prophecy that declares that now is the time for Aboriginal peoples and the settler community to come together and build the ‘8th Fire’ of justice and harmony. Its message: it is time to know your neighbours..

On Thursday, Nov. 7 at 7 p.m., we will be showing the film, “Defining Diversity, Creating Community”. This film shares the stories of some of the people who have settled in Powell River from every corner of the world seeking a better life. There is not a city or town across Canada that is not facing this same issue of being a changing community as more and more new immigrants settle in our neighbourhoods. Does diversity make a healthy community? The concept of diversity is explored as the film chronicles both the positive and negative experiences of people as they have attempted to find their place in the continually transforming community of Powell River. There will be a settlement worker from Chilliwack Immigration Services, in attendance.

Our final film of this series will be on Thursday, Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. and is called, “Taking Root: the Vision of Wangari Maathai. This tells the story of Wangari Maathai, the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. She was a woman who ignored all obstacles around her to try to bring a positive change to her country of Kenya, beginning with the simple act of planting trees. Wangari  Maathai became Kenya’s foremost environmentalist and women’s rights advocate. She encouraged the women to plant  trees and thus began a whole movement, called “The Green Belt Movement” Please join us for these film viewings!

By donation only.  Coffee and cookies served!

Any donations received from the first two films will go to Agassiz-Harrison  Community Services Food Bank and any received from the third film will go to Teryia, for a fourth grinder for the women in Mali.

This series is sponsored and supported by Agassiz United Church and All Saints Anglican in Agassiz.

For more info call 604-796-9705 or 604-796-0409.