Everyday Activist - John Ware Reclaimed (CIFF 2020)

Posted on Wednesday, September 23, 2020 at 10:00 AM

John Ware Reclaimed (CIFF 2020)

Movie Review by Everyday Activist X CalgaryMovies.com

Director Cheryl Foggo, had written an award winning play called John Ware Re-imagined in 2012, around the same time Canada Post released a John Ware stamp. Her fascination with the Ware family continued since then, as she builds on the research foundations for the National Film Board documentary, John Ware Reclaimed. I knew a little about him because of visits to the Glenbow, but I don’t remember learning about him or other African American settlers in school nor the discrimination they faced on Canadian soil. Our curriculum focused on the various European communities that came west.

Part of a University of Lethbridge Oral history project, We Are the Roots: Black Settlers and Their Experiences of Discrimination on the Canadian Prairies directed by Dr. David Este from the University of Calgary, documents the contributions of the black communities to the development of prairies in Alberta and Saskatchewan, through interviews. I watched the film when it came out in 2018, but didn’t have a chance to review it. While academics typically don’t go the film festival route, We Are the Roots won several major awards including Alberta Heritage Awareness Award, Elizabeth B. Mason Project Award and the Oral History in Non-Print Format awards from the Oral History Association and Governor General's History Award for Excellence in Community Programming.

Art based research engages so many more people than academic journals. Through these films we learn about Alberta history and research that should have been included in our schooling. We are in a place to better appreciate how all cultures contributed to Alberta’s wealth.

The in-person screenings of John Ware Reclaimed have sold out at the 21st Calgary International Film Festival 2020 on Thu, Sep 24, 2020 @ 6:00 PM and Sun, Oct 04, 2020 @ 12:00 PM, but tickets are still reservable for online viewing. Be on the lookout just in case they add more in person screenings in Calgary. The Vancouver International Film Festival will also show the film online to BC residents. If I have to say something nice about COVID-19 policies, the film festivals reach a wider audience, especially for films as important to Canadian history as John Ware Reclaimed.   

Calgary Showtimes: John Ware Reclaimed >


NOTE: The showtimes listed on CalgaryMovies.com come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to CalgaryMovies.com.