Directed by Mina Shum
In 1969, 400 students at Sir George Williams University in Montreal, Canada, occupied a computer lab to send a clear message to administrators: Mistreatment of students of color would not be tolerated. In particular, the core activists were of Caribbean descent, including students who had landed in Canada to study medicine.
The ensuing clash between student activists and police on the ninth floor lab made the events one of the most infamous acts of civil disobedience in Canadian history.
Director Mina Shum (DOUBLE HAPPINESS) brings a smart and unwavering sensibility to her first feature-length documentary. The film’s use of astounding archival footage brings viewers back in time, juxtaposed with interviews of the student leaders today and those on the administration’s side. Several of the activists became prominent leaders including Roosevelt “Rosie” Douglas, who became prime minister of Dominica and Anne Cools, the first black person to serve on Canada’s Senate.
Over four decades later, the lessons from the Sir George Williams events are still relevant in today’s climate of tenuous race relations in the US.
Co-presented by: Women’s Film Institute
Director/Screenplay: Mina Shum
Executive Producer: Shirley Vercruysse
Producer: Selwyn Jacob
Editor: Carmen Pollard
Cinematographer: John Price