Watch the ‘Unarmed Verses’ Panel ‘Documenting a Community’

Francine in Unarmed Verses

By Pat Mullen

Last Friday offered the industry component at the annual Canada’s Top Ten festival. The documentary component of the day offered a valuable discussion on documenting communities and giving voice to marginalized communities using Charles Officer’s Unarmed Verses as a case study. Officer joined NFB producer Lea Marin and cinematographer Mike McLaughlin in a conversation moderated by Brigid Tierney, Manager, Youth + Community Initiatives at TIFF. The filmmakers discussed the rewarding opportunity of giving agency to the residents of Villaways and offering positive, constructive, and inclusive representation of a community that doesn’t get a fair shake in images circulated in the media.

The film, which sees the “redevelopment” of Toronto’s Villaways housing community through the eyes of young resident Francine, won prizes for Best Canadian Feature at Hot Docs and VIFF last year. Read more about Unarmed Verses in the POV review and the feature Neighbourhood Watch.