Cane Fire reveals how cinema helped pave the way for the US government and the families controlling the plantations on Hawaii to increase their stranglehold over the archipelago. Films like Elvis Presley’s Blue Hawaii sold an image of Kaua’i as a paradise where locals were pushed into the background. As tourism supplanted plantations, the exploitation continued under a new guise. The film is a convincing and enraging portrait of a family and an island struggling to overcome generations of colonialism.
A comprehensive look at the work of seven unique and accomplished indigenous architects as they design and complete extraordinary buildings across North America and Turtle Island. The film culminates as the architects travel to the Venice Biennale of Architecture to present, for the first time, ‘Indigenous Architecture from North America’ in a spectacular installation.
The Uru-eu-wau-wau are an indigenous people living in the Amazon, whose habitat and livelihood are threatened by loggers and land grabbers. When young Bitaté is chosen as leader of the tribe, he decides to adopt a tough stance. Meanwhile, environmental activist Neidinha does everything she can to get the authorities to defend the rights of the tribe. But with the rise of Jair Bolsonaro, the political climate is not on their side.
The Oscar-nominated Ascension takes us to modern China, where the contrasts between high and low are at odds with the communist narrative of equality. Can development and social ascension continue in the same vein in the world’s most populous nation?
Shelter Without Shelter is a thorough investigation of the growing need for temporary refugee housing. Providing an overview of the myriad forms of shelter for refugees – from illegal settlements to enormous architect-designed reception centres – the documentary reveals the challenges shaping this enormous societal and architectural issue. An informative primer on an issue that is more urgent than ever.
Belle River (Guillaume Fournier, Samuel Matteau & Yannick Nolin, 2021) & Contents Inventory (Irene Lusztig, 2021)
Two short documentaries shedding light on two sides of the same coin. Belle River takes a close look at the effects of the annual spring flooding of the Mississippi, which hit record heights in 2019, while Contents Inventory highlights how a 2020 California wildfire reduced 900 homes to ashes, including those of the filmmaker’s neighbours.