Premiering May 1 at 6:30 p.m. at the Isabel Bader Theatre, Charles Officer’s Unarmed Verses presents a thoughtful and vivid portrait of a community facing imposed relocation, taking a look at marginalized Toronto Community Housing residents in the city’s north-east end. At the centre of the story is a remarkably astute and luminous 12-year-old black girl documentary Unarmed Verses, which made its world premiere at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival Unarmed Verses, which made its world premiere at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, whose poignant observations about life, the soul, and the power of art give voice to those rarely heard in society. Unarmed Verses is produced by Lea Marin and executive produced by Anita Lee for the NFB’s Ontario Studio.” Source NFB.
I had a wonderful interview with Charles Officer about this well done, sensitive and empowering documentary. He spoke of the need for governments and communities to realize the powerful effects that their decisions make on marginalized people and talked about his commitment to the problems of gentrification, economics and the need to for their stories to be heard. Charles is an amazing director with many credits and part of the upcoming TV series 21 Thunder starting June 19th. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6145878/fullcredits
Officer has also done such documentaries as Mighty Jerome, the NFB feature on Canadian sprinter Harry Jerome, the recent CBC documentary The Skin We’re In, and the drama feature Nurse. Fighter. Boy, which garnered 10 Genie nominations in 2008.
For an insightful interview. http://www.cbc.ca/radio/q/why-i-direct-charles-officer-1.4096127
In viewing the film, the courage, intelligence and capability of the young girl, Francine Valentine who cared for her family and was able to see clearly what was happening as her community is re-located to build condos which would be too expensive for any of the community to buy was very powerful
She is an talented poet, student and shining light in the world. It is wonderful that she has been accepted into an arts school and will become an amazing asset to Canadian society.
As she mentioned in the documentary: ” Youth need to learn to empower themselves. It is important to have someone believe in them .”
A great doc to see!