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POV Magazine Spring/Summer 2020 (Issue 112)

POV is Canada's destination for documentary culture. We cover the art and business of documentary, reporting on the best in non-fiction film, photography, new media, and podcasting.

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POV Magazine
2 Issues

in this issue

2 min

WHEN THIS ISSUE was planned, COVID-19 was in the distance, nothing but a series of news reports from Asia. For a month, I was corresponding with writers and conducting interviews from France, southern Italy, and London. By early March, it became clear that something immense was about to overtake us. Still, when we departed Sicily for England, we expected to be interrogated by authorities at the airport—but nothing happened. In London, we went, as usual, to the Tate, the National Portrait Gallery, and the West End. To our London friend Gary and us, it felt like 1939. Something terrible was about to happen but all remained surprisingly normal. We arrived home on March 12, to nothing more than a question at the border: “Will you isolate for fourteen days?” We…

7 min
coping with covid-19

ROILING BETWEEN INCOMPREHENSION, collective and personal grief, and even boredom, many of us are likely overwhelmed by powerlessness at this historic moment. To the rescue has been a mind-numbing array of digital aids and distractions for gig economy creators, artists, and filmmakers. Much can be found in a torrent of online resources: free streaming selections from delayed or cancelled festivals, online viewing of print publications and extensions of legacy media offerings, as well as access to film and TV markets and conferences, webinars, and Zoom meetings. Look, even more money is available through CBC’s creative relief fund! Boy, do I wish Peter Wintonick were still with us. He’d likely riff on something that suggests that the CBC should always be a creative relief fund through something like the Creative Belief…

17 min
the pov interview with mira burt-wintonick

When the Governor General’s Award-winning filmmaker, editor, writer, mentor and co-director of Manufacturing Consent Peter Wintonick died in November 2013, it was a devasting blow to the international documentary community, which had embraced him as “Canada’s documentary ambassador.” Peter died in Montreal during both the RIDM (Rencontres Internationales du documentaire de Montreal) and IDFA (International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam) festivals, where his passing was occasioned by outpourings of grief and tributes, which continued for more than a year. (POV #93, Spring 2014, which I edited and contributed to, was entirely dedicated to Peter’s immense talent and career.) Peter’s death was also a tragedy for his wife Christine and daughter Mira. When it was all over, it was left to Mira to take on the task of creating a suitable film to portray…

10 min
paying it forward

IT’S JUST ONE BIG PIT, I MARVEL TO MYSELF. Sitting in Mallo, a coffee shop near Toronto’s Bloor and Bathurst corner, I stare out at the chasm that was once the iconic bargain emporium Honest Ed’s and Mirvish Village, a block of indie galleries, businesses, and restaurants. Two small buildings still stand on Bathurst on the fringe of the construction site, demolition survivors, owned by landlords who refused to cave to Westbank, the developers now building mammoth twenty-six-story apartment buildings. Filmmaker Lulu Wei looks out wistfully too as she talks to me about her first feature, the new documentary There’s No Place Like This Place, Anyplace, set to air on CBC and eventually at the Hot Docs festival. She used to live in one of those two forlorn buildings with her girlfriend.…

9 min
raymonde provencher tells stories that need to be told

IN THE MIDST OF A WAR, WHO BEARS THE BRUNT? And yet, whose stories are more often told? Right now, the world is at war, albeit with an unseen enemy. So far, most people are responding as they should, staying home, practising kindness, and communicating meaningfully with others. Many of the people who are doing the actual fighting—the medical professionals, the caregivers, the store clerks—are women. And we can imagine that half of the population that is now under strict rules to stay at home are also women. The other half, of course, are men. And men can also be found in the same workplaces. Will the women be safe? Not only from the unseen enemy, but from the men around them? How is it that I must still ask that question?…

13 min
agnès varda: emotion pictures

“I AM A WOMAN, working with her intuition and trying to be intelligent,” Agnes Varda once said about her work. “Finding beauty where it’s maybe not. Seeing.” The act of seeing, and being seen, is at the heart of Varda’s work, in a film and photography career that spanned seventy years, until her death, in 2019, at the age of ninety. She rigorously questioned herself, and therefore us, about what we choose to see, what we dismiss as undeserving of our sight, and what we feel as a result. Varda celebrated the beauty of the marginalized, turning her lens on the elderly, indigent, immigrants, and people of colour. Most of all, she focussed on women. She had a distinct point of view, combining a passionate political engagement that encompassed socialism…