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FRIENDS' team picks for your week

FRIENDS' team picks for your week

on
May 25th, 2020

FRIENDS is working hard to keep Canadians calm and uplifted while we fight the pandemic by sharing great Canadian content. Help us share these gems with even more people and support Canadian artists during the pandemic. Become a patron today.

FRIENDS' team picks for your week

We are now three months into this pandemic. Here at FRIENDS, our small office has been closed but each of our team members is still hard at work, because it's just as important to advocate for a stronger CBC and defend our cultural sovereignty now as it was before the pandemic hit.

But we understand that we can't simply continue with business as usual. Let's face it — what we now call "the new normal" is anything but. All the things that are keeping us healthy—staying home, self-isolating, excessively washing our hands—they take a toll on our emotional and mental well-being. And so we're continuing to devote a little extra care and attention to the things that bring us joy, things that take our minds to places beyond the walls of our homes, and things that remind us there is life beyond the pandemic. At FRIENDS, that takes the form of funny, beautiful, moving, and sometimes shocking films, made right here in Canada. Here are three picks from our team members for you to enjoy this week.

Jim's pick: The Decline of the American Empire (101 minutes)

The Decline of the American Empire is one of my favourite films. The story follows a group of friends who work in the history department of a Canadian university (or are connected to someone who does) over the course of one day. It was directed by the great Quebec filmmaker Denys Arcand and the opening scene is just stunning. Plus, here is what makes this French film a bit more special for me: I met Denys years ago and he invited me to play hockey in his pick-up league which, unfortunately for me, was in Montreal. — Jim Thompson, Director of Communications

The Decline of the American Empire is available to stream on Amazon Prime.

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George's pick: Water (117 minutes)

The final film in Deepa Mehta's Elements Trilogy, Water explores misogyny in India through the lives of a group of women living at a widows' commune. I like it because it's real. It deals with uncomfortable truths. The film is set in the country's pre-independence era, but many of the themes continue to hold true today — both in South Asia and in South Asian diasporic communities, including here in Canada. — George Carothers, Director of Research and Partnerships

You can rent or purchase Water on Google Play or YouTube.


More ways to spend your down time at home:
Devin's pick: The Twentieth Century (90 minutes)

Matthew Rankin's debut feature is a weird and euphoric alternate version of Canada's history, presented in both official languages. The film is a blend of historical and aesthetic abstraction that reimagines the formative years of former Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King. This is a film that is unlike any feature Canadian film I've ever seen. — Devin Ashton-Boucage, Advisor for Francophone content and partnerships

This film is available to stream on Crave or for rent via la Maison 4:3.

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