Skip to content

Peterborough-Kawarthas chapter sponsors ‘Black Code’ at film festival

Scene from Black Code.

The Council of Canadians Peterborough-Kawarthas chapter sponsored the film Black Code at the ReFrame Film Festival last weekend.

The film was made by Toronto-based documentary filmmaker and cinematographer Nicholas de Pencier.

The festival’s website notes, “The internet has exponentially increased the ability of governments and businesses to spy on the public. But it is simultaneously an unpoliced, borderless platform that is fertile ground for protest movements. This complexity is evidenced in the diverse elements featured in this film: from Edward Snowden to Brazilian media activists; from government cyber espionage to those who have made the web into a weapon for the powerless.”

It then highlights, “Black Code is a scary yet invigorating portrait of a phenomenon that we still don’t truly comprehend but that has irrevocably transformed the way we live.”

Mercury Films adds, “With stories from Dharamsala about Tibetan monks who circumvent China’s surveillance apparatus to get sensitive information in and out of Tibet, Syrian citizens who have been tortured by the regime for Facebook posts, Brazilian media activists who use social media platforms to distribute alternative news, and Pakistani online violence against women, we see firsthand the high-stakes effects that our unprecedented level of digital communication can produce.”

The filmmaker behind Black Code also made Watermark, a documentary “that brings together diverse stories from around the globe about our relationship with water: how we are drawn to it, what we learn from it, how we use it and the consequences of that use.”

Chapter activist Kathryn Langley tells us, “Chapter members also viewed and recommend Freightened: The Real Price of Shipping directed by Denis Delestrac.”

The festival explains, “About 90% of the goods that North Americans consume are manufactured on the other side of the planet. How do they get to us? The answer is cargo shipping – an industry that supplies countless millions of people with everything from toothbrushes to laptops – at virtually no cost to the consumer. The multi-million-dollar industry, with its stranglehold over policy-makers, makes a devastating contribution to climate change and forces ship workers into extremely dangerous conditions. Taking us on a global journey across oceans and seaways, this audacious investigation into the mechanics and perils of cargo shipping sheds light on an all-but-invisible industry with deep hidden costs.”

Langley also recommends the film Atlantic.

The festival’s website says, “As the oil majors drive their drills deeper into the fragile seas, and the world’s largest fishing companies push fish stocks to the brink, coastal communities and their crucial resources are fast approaching a point of no return. Filmed in remote and breathtaking areas of the North Atlantic, and at close quarters with some of the sea’s captivating characters, this film features three intimate stories from the global resource debate. It suggests that our communities must learn from the past in order to secure a brighter future.”

ReFrame is an annual film festival in Peterborough.

Their vision is “to build strong, sustainable, and engaged community audiences for film and art that explore and document issues of human rights and social justice, from the local to the global; to use film and art to provide educational opportunities and encourage activism and thoughtful debate.”