Jun 3, 2020
Cinematheque stands in complete solidarity with Black, Indigenous and other POC and minority groups in Winnipeg, Canada and around the world. The deaths of George Floyd, Regis Korchinski-Paquet, Eisha Hudson and many, many others at the hands of the police have truly sickened and deeply saddened us. But this is not about us. As a staff of predominantly white people, we have a duty to take a step back and to use our platform and reach to elevate the voices of those that have been silenced by police brutality and centuries of racist law enforcement, public policy, judicial systems, art practices and social attitudes. We must focus our resources on promoting POC creators. We must stand strong in allyship. We are always learning, growing, and most importantly, listening. We encourage POC artists and filmmakers to reach out to us to let us know how we can better help their voices be heard.
The recent protests and uprisings in the United States and now Canada have been difficult to watch, because of the militaristic and oppressive response of various U.S. governments, and the opportunistic looting and destructiveness by some. But, they have also given the world hope; hope that people can cross racial, ethnic, religious, cultural, political and socio-economic barriers to fight together against oppression; hope that through force and determination a real and categorical change can be made in our policing and judicial systems; and hope in the power of art to bring people together, help educate them and create awareness, inspire them to action and feel empathy for others.
Please do what you can to help the fight. Whether that’s educating yourself on the history and struggles of people of colour, reflecting on your own privilege, asking those in the fight how they are doing and you can help them, engaging with art and content created by marginalized groups, calling out the casual or overt racism you see around you, or if you’re able, taking part in a protest or rally like the one being held Friday, June 5 at 6pm at the Legislative Building that is being organized by Justice 4 Black Lives Winnipeg. We encourage you to learn more about how you can be an ally in this particular call to action: @justice4blackliveswinnipeg and hope to see you on Friday.
Streaming now on our website – FREE OF CHARGE – is the 2015 film Cincinnati Goddamn (April Martin, Paul Hill), which in painful detail chronicles that city’s struggle with police brutality and white oppression, particularly during the tragic period of 1995-2001, when 15 young black men were killed at the hands of police. The film traces the systemic racism and systematic injustice suffered by the victims and families of those killed and the resulting community uprising which, with instructive prescience, forecasts our current moment, showing that institutional racism and violence are cyclical, and that we haven’t progressed as far as some think we have. Thanks to Paul Hill for the film.