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August 8, 2022
April 25, 2017

Resistance is the only option

Find the truth at Northwestfest

Written by Jeff Samsonow

Northwestfest is Canada’s longest-running documentary festival, and it returns to Edmonton theatres in May 2017.

It feels like this year, post-Brexit, post-Trump, post-truth, it’s more important than ever to see stories of truth and justice. And injustice. Those of us who aren’t content with the same old (white) boys club running things (into the ground) need more outlets for feelings of anger and disillusionment. And we need to know there are others who will resist with us.

While there are plenty of great films screening over ten days of the festival, some that speak to the times we’re living in are of particular note to us here at Edmonton Quotient.

Political truth

EQ is partnering with Northwestfest* to bring some of the movies to the festival. You can catch UK director Anthony Baxter’s “Trump Trilogy” which delves into the U.S. president’s dealings to get a Scottish golf course built, and the years of fighting it’s sparked.

We’re also proud to present “Fringe Party” on Saturday, May 6. This doc follows candidates from lesser-known and upstart political parties on the campaign trail of Canada’s last federal election. After the movie we’ll be hosting a panel discussion with Edmonton political hopefuls, talking about the challenges of running against better-funded and media-covered opponents.

(Check details below on how you can get discounted tickets to these and other screenings.)

Shadow World” delves into corrupt arms deals, revealing the real costs of war, the way the arms trade drives it and how weapons of war are turned against citizens of liberal democracies.

Road To Mercy” chronicles Canada’s first legal doctor-assisted deaths, revealing the moral and ethical quandaries at the heart of medical aid in dying.


Obit” is a look at the New York Times’ long-heralded obituary writers and, of course, an industry that is trying to ignore its own death knells.

Out Of Thin Air” is a fascinating investigation into six suspects who may have fabricated their involvement in a bizarre case of double-murder.

My Scientology Movie” – What’s a documentary film festival without something investigating the weird and secretive religion of the stars?

Stand and fight

Disturbing The Peace” is the story of Israeli soldiers and Palestinian fighters (many of whom spent time in prison) joining together to challenge the status quo, leading to the creation of Combatants for Peace.

The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin” examines the life and work of one of the world’s most beloved storytellers, following his evolution from a conservative son of the Old South into a gay rights pioneer.

The Last Animals” follows the heroic efforts of conservationists struggling to protect elephants and the desperate measures being taken to save Northern White rhinos who are on the verge of extinction. Also screening, “Trophy“, is a startling exploration of the evolving relationship between big-game hunting and wildlife conservation.

Because she persisted

Citizen Jane” looks at the battle between urbanist icon Jane Jacobs and New York City planner Robert Moses. As timely as ever as our cities expand, yet we have to find ways to live more harmoniously in less space.

The Apology” – Follow the personal journeys of three former “comfort women” who were among the 200,000 girls and young women kidnapped and forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese Army during World War II.

Tokyo Idols” – A movie about younger and younger female pop idols and their middle-aged male followers.

Alberta truth

Limit Is The Sky” follows the trials and tribulations of people trying to make a life in Fort McMurray. The movie also captures the fallout of 2016’s massive wildfire.

No Roads In” – Five days with a band and their producer, battling the elements to record an entire album with analogue equipment in an old homestead.

The various packages of shorts screen on the weekends at the Matrix Hotel, including the the Alberta perspective.

Special offer

Fringe Party

Have we got a deal for you! (Thanks to a deal we’ve struck with our friends at Northwestfest.)

If you sign up for our newsletter, you’ll be able to grab a wristband for two weekends of movies at the Matrix Hotel – and our panel on May 6 – for less than the $20 ticket price. Jump on over to our newsletter to get yourself on our list and save a few dollars. (next promo code goes out May 2)

If you become a paying supporter of EQ before the festival, you’ll be able to get the same wristband at an even better deal – half-price – just $10, as a thank you for supporting our local journalism. You can follow the link below to become a supporter.

*Even though we’ve struck a deal with Northwestfest on these tickets, they had no input on this article or other EQ promotion.

Disclosure: Jeff Samsonow has previously been on Northwestfest’s screening committee. His wife does work for the festival.

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