Now Streaming: ‘Babe, I Hate to Go’

By Pat Mullen

Catch a highlight from the short and Canadian documentary front from this year’s Hot Docs film festival. Andrew Moir’s poignant Babe, I Hate to Go is now streaming at CBC Short Docs.

The film chronicles the plight of Delroy, a migrant worker from Jamaica who travels to Canada to harvest the fields for several months every year. Delroy has high spirits when he first speaks to the camera, but then Moir’s film devastatingly reveals that the subject has cancer and that he must leave his family despite his limited time so that he can provide for them when he’s gone.

Moir, whose uncle owns the tobacco farm on which Delroy works, sees Delroy’s situation as, unfortunately, emblematic of the inequity experienced by countless migrants in Canada. Writing at CBC, Moir reflects upon the hard dilemma that migrants face when in a country that doesn’t adequately recognise the contributions they make to society: “Delroy contributed to our country’s agriculture sector and paid taxes, but could never become a citizen or even have a formal guarantee of permanent employment. Why wasn’t he “worthy” of the same opportunities afforded to my grandfather? My grandfather was a working-class farmer who benefited from a robust Canadian immigration system. That system has since undergone a massive shift, where a working-class person can only gain access to Canada temporarily.” Read more in Moir’s CBC diary.

Back at Hot Docs, we wrote: “Babe, I Hate to Go is an effective and emotional point of view doc that subtly uses one character’s experience to situate his plight within a larger struggle. The film is precursor to a feature that Moir has in development and while the there is a greater story that demands a feature-length canvas, it stands on its own as a self-contained work. This intimately observed character study invites a larger and much needed conversation.”

Watch Babe, I Hate to Go below and follow the film on Facebook for updates on the feature and Delroy’s story.