Black history films bust common myths

Filmmaker Nadine Valcin aims to raise awareness of black servants in Canadian history

On Feb. 10, Nadine Valcin, a Toronto-based documentary filmmaker, evaluated two brief films as a part of the Black History Month celebrations at George Brown College (GBC).

Fire and Fury and Whitewash take a look at the collective amnesia of black history in Canada and bust common misconceptions like the recent arrival of individuals of African descent to Canada, and the not in our yard attitude to slavery.

“History is a story, in the world of myth, a story carefully constructed and taped by those in power,” said Valcin.

Valcin was compelled to discover the stories of marginalized people since the winners of culture clashes typically wind up writing history and blotting out the losers.

Born in Montreal to Haitian parents, Valcin is owned by a desire to inform engaging stories that represent a diversity of viewpoints.

Captivated by the fact that few individuals knew about the presence of slavery in Canada, Valcin chose to make short films to portray the lives of black servants and their roles in shaping Canadian history.

“I was confused since in spite of being told that slavery didn’t exist in Canada, the only individuals who looked like me in the history books were the servants,” stated Community Action Centre support staffer Brandy Skinner.

Skinner included that Valcin’s creations are eye-openers for lots of young black people who truly do not feel accepted and are considered ‘2nd class’ people.

Fire and Fury, is a fictionalization of the days preceeding the Terrific Fire that destroyed half the city of Montreal in the 19th century, informed through the eyes of the slave implicated of setting the fire.

Whitewash deals with the assimilation of black servants into the basic population. Throughout the years, they have become very light skinned and actively looked for to deny their roots.

“These narratives serve to empower those whose voices formerly have been left out or underrepresented, simply as much as they aim to inform all of us,” said Olga Ponichtera, a professor at the school of interactions.

Valcin stated that racism and the benefit that features ‘looking’ white are a few of the most apparent factors for eliminating this portion of history.