-Aaron Rand: CJAD
Quebec’s citizens are divided by different histories, sources of pride and grievances. Young people experience Quebec differently than seniors, who lived through decades of religious and linguistic conflict. Québécois living in the regions often see Montreal as a foreign metropolis. Quebec is increasingly the story of immigrants, the distinctly labelled Allophones, who think it is time for old-stock Francos and Anglos to get over their long-lost wars of conquest to deal with the urgent problems of the 21st century. What We Choose to Remember explores the things that make Quebec so fascinating, frustrating and different.
Filming began on the 50th anniversary of the October Crisis to capture eye-witness accounts of seminal events that shaped modern Quebec. During the second half of the previous century hundreds of thousands of Anglophones left Quebec. This is the story of those who stayed and the subsequent waves of immigrants who chose to make this colourful, quirky place their home.
What We Choose to Remember features a cast of more than 30 characters, whose families arrived in successive waves of immigration. The oldest families arrived during the period of ‘two solitudes’ when Montreal’s population was more than 50% English. They share firsthand accounts decades of political upheaval. The most recent immigrants arrived believing linguistic conflicts were ancient history.
Twenty hours of interviews were originally filmed for a 6-part documentary series that aired on MAtv in 2021 under the title Waves of Change. A French sub-titled version will be broadcast on MAtv this summer and the material will also be adapted into a one-hour documentary special for CBC Television, scheduled to broadcast September 2022. The CBC special is titled Waves of Change: Reimagining Quebec.
Nous sommes en train de créer une version sous-titrée en français et rajouterons le lien bientôt. Si vous voulez voir la version sous-titrée « in progress », envoyez-nous un courriel dès maintenant.
Mike Cohen – The Suburban
Toula Drimonis: CULT MTL
Carolyn Boll: Montreal Gazette
Andrea Howick: Global TV
Megan Le Stum: The Link
Guy Rex Rodgers arrived in Quebec in 1980, the year of the first referendum on independence. As a student at the ‘bilingual’ National Theatre School he discovered two worlds that coexisted in stubborn silence and has been trying to make sense of his adopted homeland ever since.
He has worked extensively in multimedia, writing shows in Canada, the USA, Europe and the Middle East, as well as working with the Montreal International Jazz Festival for many years on music documentaries.
While making a new home in Quebec Guy Rex Rodgers founded or co-founded several cultural institutions: The English Language Arts Network (ELAN), the Quebec Writers’ Federation and the Quebec Drama Federation. He was also a member of the founding board of le Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ) and in 2015 he was appointed to the newly created Ordre des arts et des lettres du Québec.
Youssef Shoufan is a filmmaker, photographer, author and creator of multiple projects. Very active in the artistic, cultural and social scenes in his hometown and around the world, he uses his professional and personal communication skills as vectors of positive change, for the short and the long term.
Born in Damascus in 1987 and based in Montréal since 1994, his interests in minimalist aesthetics and his values of social justice and representation of marginalized narratives are at the heart of his work. To do so, Youssef uses his creativity, curiosity, mediation tools, leadership and critical thinking.
English being the third language he has learned, working on What We Chose to Remember was a way for him to discover many new realties through the stories of the people met on the journey of creating this documentary.
Betty Esperanza - is a first-generation Canadian of immigrant parents of France-Hungary descent who was the first in the family to attend English Protestant School where she was exposed to diverse cultures and welcomed into the English-speaking diaspora.
She has been building communities worldwide for three decades through her passion to unite people of all cultures to champion causes in the philanthropic, skateboarding, and arts and culture spheres. She studied diplomacy and business and marketing while juggling careers as an artist, musician and entertainment manager of Canadian Jazz Musician, Vic Vogel for 10 years, as well as an avid street photographer participating in over 30 International exhibits where some of her black and white series “A BOOK ABOUT DEATH” are archived in the Museum of Modern Art. She is also the Founder and Organizer of 100 Thousand Poets 4 Change, a Montreal poetry festival in its 10th year.
She is part of the TED Talks brand and a recent Radio Canada documentary “L’Esperanza de Cuba” tells her story in Cuba about her non-profit, Skateboards For Hope which empowers youth using skateboarding as a tool to break the cycle of poverty.
Working on the documentary, Betty felt very connected to the storytellers she interviewed and found her own sense of belonging as an English-speaking Quebecer anchored and validated.
28 rue Wharf Hudson, QC, Canada J0P 1H0
Quebec's Bill 96 aims to strengthen the province's French language law, but English groups fear it will reduce access in their language to e...
28 rue Wharf Hudson, QC, Canada J0P 1H0
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The Quebec anglo: A new documentary portrays a reality far from the “pampered elite” myth
Documentary gives a voice to anglophones
Film explores English roots in Quebec
What We Choose To Remember is the title of a new film by Guy Rex Rodgers, but it is also a pertinent question in a province whose motto is “Je me souviens,” what exactly are we meant to remember?
What We Choose To Remember: Compelling new documentary a "must watch" for all anglos.
What We Choose to Remember: A film on identity and Quebec’s Anglophone Community. Documentary premieres May 13 at the Hudson Film Festival
Documentary gives a voice to anglophones. What We Choose To Remember, a 93-minute feature documentary written and directed by Guy Rex Rodgers, is the opening selection for the 2022 Hudson Film Festival.
Our story takes place on the Indigenous lands of the Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) nation of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. Tiotià:ke (known as Montréal) has existed as a meeting place of many First Nation peoples, including but not limited to the Abenaki , Anishinaabeg (Algonquin), and the Huron-Wendat.