A documentary, which focuses on a subject very timely in light of events created in Syria, will be shown this Friday, Sept. 25, co-sponsored by numerous local organizations.
All proceeds from the film, Continuous Journey by Ali Kazimi, will be collected by Syria Antigonish Families Embrace (SAFE) and used to sponsor a Syrian family coming to Antigonish.
The film will be shown in room 151 at Nicholson Hall, starting at 7 p.m., with admission by donation.
Information provided by the Antigonish International Film Festival (AIFF) group, one of the co-sponsors, provides details about the film and its current relevance.
“Long before the present Syrian crisis, Canada’s immigration policies were shaped by decisions made in the last century. Viewers of the documentary film Continuous Journey may begin to understand how unsatisfactory the existing rules and regulations still are,” the AIFF release states.
“The film traces the sea journey of 378 Indian immigrants from Singapore to Vancouver and exposes the attitude of that time in 1914; despite the fact the passengers were British subjects their ship was refused entry and turned away. This award-winning film has been shown in many parts of the world; at the time of the infamous event and later it called into question Canada’s unwelcoming immigration policy.”
It’s noted this is a “part of Canadian history that many would prefer to forget.”
“By examining the global context and repercussions of this long ago incident, Continuous Journey challenges us to reflect on contemporary events and raises critical questions about how the past shapes the present.”
AIFF’s Larry Lamey spoke to the challenge.
“What is happening today in Syria and Europe may be news but it is not new,” Lamey said. “Our society has an irrational fear of refugees; at our best we manage to overcome that fear.”
The list of sponsoring organizations includes; AIFF, SAFE, Antigonish Breaking the Silence, Antigonish Women’s Resource Centre, Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace, Coady International Institute, StFX Dept. of Adult Education, StFX Dept. of Political Science, StFX University Office of Human Rights & Equity, StFX WUSC Student Refugee Program, St. James United Church Social Justice Committee, St. Paul-the-Apostle Anglican Church and the Sisters of St. Martha of Antigonish.