Anti-Racism Resources – Films, TV, Videos
Films (Free and Paid)
The rights of First Nations children take centre stage in this monumental documentary. Following a historic court case filed by the Assembly of First Nations and the Child and Family Caring Society of Canada against the federal government, Alanis Obomsawin exposes generations of injustices endured by First Nations children living on reserves and their families. Through passionate testimony and unwavering conviction, frontline childcare workers and experts including Cindy Blackstock take part in a decade-long court battle to ensure these children receive the same level of care as other Canadian children. Their case against Canada is a stark reminder of the disparities that persist in First Nations communities and the urgent need for justice to be served.
Red Crow Mi’kmaq reservation, 1976: By government decree, every Indian child under the age of 16 must attend residential school. In the kingdom of the Crow, that means imprisonment at St. Dymphna’s. That means being at the mercy of “Popper”, the sadistic Indian agent who runs the school. At 15, Aila is the weed princess of Red Crow. Hustling with her uncle Burner, she sells enough dope to pay Popper her “truancy tax”, keeping her out of St. Ds. But when Aila’s drug money is stolen and her father Joseph returns from prison, the precarious balance of Aila’s world is destroyed. Her only options are to run or fight – and Mi’kmaq don’t run.
This documentary pays tribute to a group of Canadians who took racism to court. They are Canada’s unsung heroes in the fight for Black civil rights. Focusing on the 1930s to the 1950s, this film documents the struggle of 6 people who refused to accept inequality. Featured here, among others, are Viola Desmond, a woman who insisted on keeping her seat at the Roseland movie theatre in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia in 1946 rather than moving to the section normally reserved for the city’s Black population, and Fred Christie, who took his case to the Supreme Court after being denied service at a Montreal tavern in 1936. These brave pioneers helped secure justice for all Canadians. Their stories deserve to be told.
This short film depicts Africville, a small black settlement that lay within the city limits of Halifax, Nova Scotia. In the 1960s, the families there were uprooted and their homes demolished in the name of urban renewal and integration. More than 20 years later, the site of the community of Africville is a stark, under-utilized park. Former residents, their descendants and some of the decision-makers speak out and, with the help of archival photographs and films, tell the story of that painful relocation.
13th (Netflix Subscription Required)
An in-depth look at the prison system in the United States and how it reveals the nation’s history of racial inequality.
Pariah (Available on iTunes, Amazon Prime)
A Brooklyn teenager juggles conflicting identities and risks friendship, heartbreak, and family in a desperate search for sexual expression.
An important figure in the history of Canadian Indigenous filmmaking, Gil Cardinal was born to a Métis mother but raised by a non-Indigenous foster family, and with this auto-biographical documentary he charts his efforts to find his biological mother and to understand why he was removed from her. Considered a milestone in documentary cinema, it addressed the country’s internal colonialism in a profoundly personal manner, winning a Special Jury Prize at Banff and multiple international awards.
This short documentary presents the empowering story of Rodney “Geeyo” Poucette’s struggle against prejudice in the Indigenous community as a two-spirited person (gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender).
In this short film, a young woman of mixed ancestry struggles with an Equal Opportunity Form that requires her to respond to the dilemma: Ethnicity – Choose One.
Cree director Alexandra Lazarowich riffs off classic verité cinema to craft a contemporary portrait of Métis women net fishing in Northern Alberta.
Do The Right Thing (Available on iTunes)
On the hottest day of the year on a street in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, everyone’s hate and bigotry smolders and builds until it explodes into violence.
The Hate U Give (Available on iTunes, Crave)
Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Now, facing pressure from all sides of the community, Starr must find her voice and stand up for what’s right.
Fruitvale Station (Available on iTunes)
The story of Oscar Grant III, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident, who crosses paths with friends, enemies, family, and strangers on the last day of 2008.
When They See Us (Netflix Subscription Required)
Five teens from Harlem become trapped in a nightmare when they’re falsely accused of a brutal attack in Central Park. Based on the true story.
Problem Areas (Crave Subscription Required)
Using documentary-style field reports and in-studio commentary, comic and writer Wyatt Cenac examines a wide range of social and cultural problems facing Americans, with a continued focus on the role of police in society.
- Systemic Racism Explained
- Homeless Hub – Ensuring Racial Equity During the COVID-19 Homelessness Response
- What It Takes to be Racially Literate
- 50 Shades of Black: My Experiences with Colorism, Amaya Allen, TEDxVanderbiltUniversity
- Get comfortable with being uncomfortable, Luvvie Ajayi
- How to deconstruct racism, one headline at a time, Baratunde Thurston
- The danger of a single story, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie