Now Streaming: ‘Algo, Polly & Turcot’

By Pat Mullen

We’ve been to the Montreal neighbourhood of Saint-Henri on the 5th of September and the 26th of August, but now it’s time to get a bird’s eye view. The new CBC Short Doc Algo, Polly & Turcot examines the Montreal neighbourhood known for its long history of diverse working class communities through the perspectives of two residents displaced from their homes by gentrification: Algo and Polly, a pair of peregrine falcons living under the Turcot interchange. The sprawling mass of concrete—a dizzying snake of knotted highway—is in the heart of Saint-Henri and emblematic of the community’s current “redevelopment” process. (It’s being torn down to be rebuilt.) What happens to these nesting creatures, though, when their home becomes dust and the only sites of refuge in the area are condos?

Director Alexandre Sheldon captures the resilience of these majestic birds and of the community of which they are a part with some striking aerial cinematography, still photos, and archival images of the falcons and Saint-Henri. The community’s story is well told in documentary and this amazing short is a fine addition to the larger body of docs out right now that shed light on gentrification and displacement in urban neighbourhoods. Birds of a feather need to stick together!

Watch Algo, Polly & Turcot below: