Wajd: Songs of Separation introduces us to three Syrian musicians now living in exile in Turkey and Holland. This music-filled film is a moving testament to both the heartbreak and loss of war, and the resilience of individuals. It is also a beautiful meditation on the healing and life-affirming power of music and creative expression.
Inspired by the traditional sacred music of Syria, filmmaker Amar Chebib travelled to Damascus and Aleppo in 2010. Six months later the revolution began, escalating into a bloody civil war and the largest humanitarian crisis of our time. Touched by the harrowing experiences of the friends he made, Wajd transformed into the stories of three musicians turned refugees.
Over five years, we witness the struggles of Ibrahim, Abdulwahed, and Mohamed as they face their traumatic past. Forced to rebuild their lives in exile, they turn to their love of music to help them find meaning in the aftermath of destruction and atrocity. Intimate footage of their daily lives weaves together with bittersweet musical performances, extremely rare Sufi ceremonies, and poetic imagery of a pre-war Syria that no longer exists. What unfolds is a cinematic meditation on loss, yearning, and faith.
“Chebib crafts a constellation of experience where narrative time oscillates between the sweeping, rare footage of pre-war Syria’s cultural majesty, into present-day formations of refugee life.” - Arab Film Institute
Click Here to watch the trailer.
Admission is by donation. FMI: 250 337-5412.
Is it possible to move away from fossil fuels and live a more joyful life? That is the question NASA atmospheric scientist Peter Kalmus explores in the film, Being the Change: A New Kind of Climate Documentary, presented by World Community.
Peter, his wife Sharon, and two kids reduced their carbon emissions by more than a factor of ten between 2010 and 2014, going from emitting an estimated 20 tonnes annually to 2 tonnes. They did so by making changes in their own lives and found more happiness and satisfaction in the process.
Kalmus comments “There’s this desire that we have to just solve all of our problems with technology. But I think there are some situations where more technology isn’t the best option. The burning of fossil fuels has really fueled this myth … that we can do anything with technology.” Instead, he advocates less tech-driven approach to reducing one’s impact. This method, he explains, saves him money.
The film is 58 minutes long and is appropriate for all ages. Click Here to view the trailer.
Admission is by donation. Everyone is welcome. FMI: 250 337-5412.
World Community is partnering with the Immigrant Welcome Centre for a special screening of the award-winning documentary, After Spring, at 7pm, Tuesday Sept. 25 in the Stan Hagen Theatre, North Island College, Courtenay. The film, produced by Jon Stewart, premiered at Tribeca Film Festival.
With the Syrian conflict now in its eighth year, millions of people have been displaced. After Spring is the story of what happens next. By following two refugee families in transition and aid workers fighting to keep the camp running, viewers will get glimpses of what it is like to live in Zaatari, the largest camp for Syrian refugees. With no end in sight for the conflict, everyone must decide if they can rebuild their lives in a place that was never meant to be permanent.
Snippets from home movies provide an illustration of Syria before the war, with scenes of people shopping, dancing, sunning themselves on the beach. The images represent a stark contrast to the current lives of Zaatari’s residents. But life goes on. The camp is in effect a functioning city with over 80,000 residents, and it bustles with activity, including restaurants and retail shops. A Korean instructor offers courses in Tae Kwan Do.
“It is a touching and unexpectedly positive message that makes After Spring a valuable contribution to the range of documentaries emerging from the conflict in Syria.”- Allan Hunter, Screen Daily
Click Here to watch the trailer
All are welcome. Admission is by donation. FMI: 250 337-5412.