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Travelling documentary festival arrives next week

More and more people are questioning modern society, our relationship to the land, as well as the impact that globalization and large corporate entities are having on culture, human welfare and the environment. Film makers around the world take the time to document these important social issues to create opportunities to learn more about them. Each year the No Boundaries film club brings a selection of these films to Grand Forks with the Traveling World Community Film Festival.
 
The sixth annual Grand Forks screening of the Traveling World Community Film Festival is slated for Friday, Feb. 25 through Sunday, Feb. 27 at Grand Forks Secondary School. The World Community Film Festival is Canada's largest, longest running international social issues film festival.
 
Opening the feast of 16 documentary films will be A Thousand Suns (Friday 7:00 p.m.) This film tells the story of the unique world view held by the people of the Gamo Highlands of the African Rift valley.
 
This isolated area has remained remarkably intact both biologically and culturally. It is one of the most densely populated rural regions of Africa yet its people have been farming sustainably for 10,000 years. Shot in Ethiopia, New York and Kenya, the film explores the modern world's untenable sense of separation from and superiority over nature and how the interconnected worldview of the Gamo people is fundamental in achieving long-term sustainability, both in the region and beyond.
 
Not coincidentally this doc ties in nicely with Schooling the World, the final film, Sunday, which takes a challenging look at the role played by modern education in the destruction of the world's last intact indigenous cultures. Schooling is beautifully shot in Ladakh, in the northern India Himalayas.
 
The second film on Friday is Water on the Table, which explores Canada's relationship to its fresh water, arguably its most precious resource. Featured in the film is Maude Barlow of the Council of Canadians.
 
Thus the romp begins.
 
In the past comments have been made that the event can be overwhelming, in the least a case of information overload, at worst, a disempowering experience. The last point, of course, is a matter of personal choice.
 
It's not all about happy endings, reality doesn't function that way.
 
Indeed there are films to provoke thought and discussion, one hope of the organizers. There are also films designed to be just plain rollicking fun, The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls, for example, and Laughology, a little semantic fun that takes us on a journey whose path and destination are laughter.
 
There is also the deeply heartening Good Morning Africa, an inspiring film of challenge and success. Then there is Force of Nature: The David Suzuki Movie, the Vancouver International Film Festival Audience Award winner 2010. This film, on Saturday night, is a detailed and rewarding film that follows environmentalist David Suzuki as he approaches his 75th year.
 
Other award winners include Kick Like A Girl, and Soundtrack for a Revolution, which tells the story of the American civil rights movement through its powerful music. Oh yeah, and who could resist a flick with the title Dirt! The Movie?
This festival is about recognizing similarities and embracing differences. It is also about how, collectively, people can be a force for positive change for all citizens of the planet.
 
As in the past the Boundary Peace Initiative will be providing lunches for a donation.
 
The festival was started by the World Community Development Education Society, based in Courtenay. To find out more about the WCDES go to their website http://www.wcdes.ca.
 
The “No Boundaries” film club has recently donated another four films to the Grand Forks Public Library. For a complete list of films from festivals of the past that have been donated please see the catalogue at the library.
 
Tickets for the festival are only available at the door and are $20/$10 (seniors, students and low-waged) for a full pass and $5/$3 per session (morning, afternoon, evening). Times are Friday, Feb. 25 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 26 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 27 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

For further information or to view the programme e-mail: larryhudema@yahoo.ca