Whether it’s the African family happily reuniting over Tim Horton’s coffee or the glossy magazine rankings of successful émigrés, narratives about the immigrant experience permeate Canadian media and popular culture. But, though ubiquitous, these scripts rarely speak to the nuances of immigration, and hardly ever touch on its quiet trauma.
When one hears or read the term “independent cinema” it is interpreted–depending on the person and their frame of reference–in any number of ways. Back in the late 60s the term was applied to movies that were still made in the Hollywood system but contain counterculture ideas and were made by people both behind and in front of the camera that flew in the face of the traditional Hollywood methodology.
There’s a certain safety to making a film culled from the ether of imagined reality. Your idiosyncratic characters are sewn together from the mist of imagination so there’s less risk of real people becoming insulted, angry, hurt, litigious or even homicidal as a result of your fictional film. For some strange reason, I decided to stray from those sheltered waters recently by writing a new narrative film based on the life of my grandfather, David Karr.
Sometimes I have to wonder what we’re so uptight about in this country. When it comes to money, for a …