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Female Eye Remembers Montreal Massacre


Female Eye Remembers Montreal Massacre
by Staff Editors

(December 2, 2014 – Toronto, ON) Organizers behind the Female Eye Film Festival, which will celebrate its 14th year next year, will again remember the Montreal Massacre on its anniversary this Saturday. For 45 minutes on December 6, 1989, 25-year-old Marc Lepine roamed the corridors of Montreal`s École Polytechnique and killed 14 women. He purposely separated the men from the women and before opening fire on the classroom of female engineering students screamed, “I hate feminists.” Almost immediately, the Montreal Massacre became a galvanizing moment in which mourning turned into outrage about all violence against women. Yet 25 years later it persists.

This will be the third fund-raising event by the Female Eye for Violence Against Women. Doing what they do best, the event will present two programs of films made by female directors. In addition there will be a sale of photography, refreshments and a discussion session with all proceeds from the art sale being donated.

The first program will begin at 6PM and run until 7:15 and feature these films:

Forward, by Suneet Pabla. An autobiography of fragmented memories explored through the state of dreaming. (2 min., Toronto, ON)

Weight of Memory (performed by Peggy Baker), by Liz Marshall. In memory of the fourteen women slain during the Montreal Massacre. Featuring Dancer/Choreographer Peggy Baker with music “14 Remembered”, Pour Annie Turcotte, composed by Ahmed Hassan. (Documentary, 5 min., Canada)

After The Montreal Massacre by Gerry Rogers. December 6, 1989, Sylvie Gagnon was attending her last day of classes at the University of Montreal`s École Polytechnique when Marc Lépine entered the building separating the women from the men. Yet Sylvie survived while fourteen other women were murdered. After The Massacre makes the connection between the massacre and violence against women, setting the stage for an exploration of misogyny and sexism. (Documentary, 29 min., Canada)

Gently Whispering the Circle Back, by Beth Wishart McKenzie. Gently Whispering the Circle Back explores the journey of healing people wounded by the Canadian Residential School system. We become part of the “healing circle” as survivors and the children of survivors share their stories with us and speak of their recovery of tradition, language ceremony and personal dignity. It is a celebration of Indigenous spirituality and practise and its power to transform the lives of individuals and communities. (Documentary, 49 min., Canada)

There will be a discussion during the intermission followed by the second program of films:

Room 710, by Ann Marie Fleming. A very stressed woman is trying to sleep, but the neighbors next door are fighting. Based on the directors true story. (Animated, 8 min., Canada)

One Day I Stood Still by Valerie Buhagiar. One Day I Stood Still is an eleven-minute non-linear drama that uses sound and images to explore the theme of time. A Woman takes a pause in her routinely driven life. In this woman’s “pause” we dive into her thoughts, which are enveloped with a whirlwind of anxiety filled emotions. These “thoughts” are about the beauties and the horrors of life wrapped up in the obsession of time. (Non-linear drama, 11 min., Canada)

Assassins, May I Help You? by Raquel Polo . A cynical look at domestic violence and its oppressors. (Drama, 15 min., Spain).

The Greatest Silence: Rape In The Congo by Lisa F. Jackson. Through her vivid portrayal of the problems related to use of sexual violence as a weapon of war in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Jackson has galvanized the human rights community and brought this crisis to the attention of politicians and policymakers nationally and internationally. Winner of the Sundance 2008 Special Jury Prize for Documentary, The Greatest Silence was shot in the war zones of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and shatters the silence that surrounds the use of sexual violence as a weapon in that country’s intractable war. It inspired U.N. Security Council Resolution 1820, opened the first-ever U.S. Senate hearing on rape and war, and has moved audiences to outrage and action. (Documentary, 76 min., USA) Film provided courtesy of Women Make Movies (New York)

It all takes place at Artscape Youngplace, Flex Silver Studio, 180 Shaw Street in Toronto.

Also see: Polytechnique.