Fall films finalized for the Stittsville Rotary International Film Series

The Film Committee of the Stittsville Rotary Club has now selected the final films in their fall International Film Series in collaboration with the film circuit of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Passes for the three films remaining in the fall series are now available for purchase (details below). Film dates are October 24, November 28, and December 12 (at 4:00 and 7:00pm). The Rotary Club of Ottawa-Stittsville thanks their major sponsor, ScotiaBank.

(French film (with English subtitles), ‘Happening’ will be shown on October 24th. Photo: TIFF)

On October 24, a French film (with English subtitles), ‘Happening’ will be showing. This film is an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Annie Ernaux, who just won the Nobel Prize in Literature for 2022. It follows the journey of a young girl, Annie, through the first trimester of her unwanted pregnancy in 1963, when abortion was illegal in France. This film provides a timely reflection on the issues arising in the wake of the overturning of the decision in the American court case, Roe vs Wade.

(The documentary, ‘Buffy Sainte-Marie: Carry It On’, will be shown on November 28th. Photo: TIFF)

The November 28 film is an extraordinary documentary, ‘Buffy Sainte-Marie: Carry It On’ (1hour, 30min). This powerful film follows Buffy Saint-Marie’s long career as a musician and as an indigenous activist, and includes interviews with Robbie Robertson, Jackson Browne, and Joni Mitchell. Saint-Marie as born on February 21, 1941 on the Piapot First Nation reserve in Saskatchewan. She was taken away from her Cree family, and raised by a Massachusetts couple of Mi’kmaq descent. As an adult, Saint-Marie went on the journey of discovery of her roots through story-telling and song-writing. Her musical, writing and activist careers have spanned six decades. She has campaigned for indigenous rights, women’s rights, and human rights. This documentary offers us a captivating look at her life, and her unfailing activism on climate change, on indigenous rights, on missing and murdered indigenous women, and on sustainable living.

(On December 12th, ‘Hit The Road’ will take you on a road journey with a family escaping Iran. Photo: TIFF)

For the December 12 film, go on a rare road journey through remote north-western Iran. ‘Hit The Road’ (1hour, 33min., Persian with Eng. subtitles) is directed by Panah Panahi, son of jailed Iranian film-maker Jafar Panahi. A family of four and their ailing family dog, Jessy, make a harrowing journey to the Turkey/Azerbaijan border in an attempt to evade Iranian state censorship. The parents have borrowed heavily on the value of their home to finance an escape route for their oldest son. That son is at the wheel, driving the family in a borrowed car. It is a tense, hot, and uncomfortable trip filmed almost completely in a car. The younger 8-year old brother is the star of the film, sometimes playing a wacky child, sometimes showing great sensitivity to the drama unfolding around him. Throughout the film, this family is living on the edge of sadness – of losing their lives or liberty, of losing their home, and the parents – of losing their sons. And yet, as the Guardian reviewer writes, “an irrepressible defiance and comic energy bubbles under every scene.”

Each of these films has something unique to offer, and each provides multiple talking points for the film attendees as they leave the cinema! Please note that these films deal with mature subjects and are not suitable for children.

Film passes are available now at $45 for three films from the Rotary Club. To purchase your pass, please email Sandra Burt (sburt@uwaterloo.ca) for 4:00pm passes. For 7:00pm passes, contact Elke Harder (Elke@EFHarder.com). The films are being screened at Landmark Cinemas Kanata.

As a reminder, the profits from the International Film Series support a variety of Rotary club projects and donations within our community and around the world. Some of the organizations that have received recent financial support from our club are Chrysalis House women’s shelter, Stittsville Food Bank, Richmond Food Bank, support for refugees from Afghanistan, Syria and now Ukraine, Canadian Women for Women of Afghanistan, and ShelterBox (a Rotary International affiliate that provides temporary housing for refugees, including those from Ukraine).

Don’t miss out! The Stittsville Rotary Club look forward to seeing you at Landmark Theatres. The Club appreciates your continued support of the film series and their Club.


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