A decade ago rapper Khari "Conspiracy" Stewart was diagnosed with a psychological disorder, but he has rejected the label and is pursuing a spiritual path.
For half of his life, Khari "Conspiracy" Stewart has fought a spiritual war against two demons: Anacron, an intergalactic consciousness that possesses Stewart's mind, and the Canadian mental health system, which diagnosed him with schizophrenia over a decade ago.
With innumerable battles waging as far back as his adolescence, Khari's other-worldly experiences have often been manifested through a dense and sometimes dark catalogue of recorded music, all of which he has recorded independently. A contemporary wordsmith specializing in hip hop rhyme forms, Khari performs as 'Conspiracy' in a group called the Supreme Being Unit (S.B.U.), along with his twin brother Addi 'Mindbender' Stewart, who was not diagnosed with Schizophrenia.
Through artful documentation of Khari's history, daily life and with insight from psychiatric experts, "Mars Project" reveals the deep complexities of mental health and the inadequacies of the current Canadian healthcare system. Khari's diagnosis or spiritual encounters (as he refers to them) have entrenched themselves so deeply, that it will take much more than a state-imposed drug regimen or spiritual healing to vanquish his demons.
Yet Khari isn't just a victim. His plagued mind has simultaneously debilitated him and formed the foundation for his identity as a contemporary soothsayer who spreads his message and his experiences through the recited verb-forms of his rap music. Tormented artist, spiritual shaman, drug-addled rapper, Khari's unique experience seeks to challenge our understanding of schizophrenia and mental health.
"A driving warp speed dissection of the Squamish Five story, with a soundtrack that alone is worth the price of admission."
- Elizabeth Aird, The Vancouver Sun.
An austere punkish political/poetic/analytic film from the late eighties that denounces the mass media trance and its creation of the illusion of freedom. That is denying us
our human selves. The Squamish Five were a group of militant anarchist from the West Coast who were involved with a number of Direct Actions that occurred across Canada in the early 80's - their actions constituted the most radical political protest in Canada since the October crises. Key actions included protests against the then Liberal-Trudeau Government support of the U.S. Cruise Missile Tests in Northern Alberta and the manufacturing of the guidance system of the Cruise Missiles by Litton Industries of Ontario.
A one-hour documentary about the crusade to save CKUA, Canada’s oldest non-profit broadcaster.
Over the past 76 years CKUA has launched the careers of many talented announcers and musicians -- and fostered fiercely loyal fans. tells the CKUA story by interweaving three themes: The Music played on CKUA, and The History of the station and The Fight to get CKUA back on the air after it was shut down in 1997,.
The Music is the heart of Radio Worth Fighting For. The film highlights the amazingly eclectic music played on CKUA by featuring the live performances of 37 musical acts including Ricky Skaggs, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Bruce Cockburn, Kiran Ahluwalia, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, Jim Cuddy, Roy Forbes, Janiva Magness, Mose Allison, The Mahotella Queens, Bomba!, Pete Seeger, Daniel Lanois, and Sylvia Tyson performing with Quartette
The Fight chronicles the long odds and serious struggle facing CKUA’s supporters after the radio station fell silent in 1997 due to government cutbacks, questionable management practices, and bureaucratic bungling. Footage of television news reports from the time of the shutdown is combined with commentary by the CKUA staff and listeners who lead the fight. These scenes paint a compelling picture of people of all ages, classes and tastes banding together on a social crusade to keep their favorite community treasure on the air.
The History of CKUA is shared through fascinating archival photos, stock footage of events at the station over the past seven decades, and storytelling by colourful CKUA staff alumni. These include actor-singer Robert Goulet; musician-turned senator Tommy Banks and John Worthington, who continues to host a weekly big-band show after 53-years at the station.
CKUA was saved by it’s listeners. Remarkably, one-quarter of CKUA’s annual budget now comes from donors in Canada and around the world who tune in to this unique station on the radio, or on the Internet.
Raw Opium is a feature length documentary (and two-part TV series) about a commodity that has tremendous power – both to ease pain and to destroy lives. The opium poppy is the raw material for heroin, fueling a vast criminal trade larger than the economies of many countries.
Raw Opium is a journey around the world and through time, where conflicting forces do battle over the narcotic sap of the opium poppy. From an opium master in southeast Asia to a UN drug enforcement officer on the border of Afghanistan hunting down the smugglers of central Asia; from a former Indian government Drug Czar and opium farmer to a crusading Vancouver doctor and Portuguese street worker who daily confront the realities of drug addiction.
We see how this flower has played, and continues to play, a pivotal role – not just in the lives of people who grow, manufacture and use it – but also in the increasingly tense sphere of international relations. In the process, our assumptions about addiction and the War on Drugs are challenged.
There is a war being waged in Canada for young minds. It’s happening on the streets and in the schoolyards, erupting in violence and hate. Hard times-and harder hearts-have brought simmering racist attitudes to the surface.
The Heritage Front, Aryan Nations, Church of The Creator, and the Canadian Chapters of the KKK are all recruiting young people to their cause. The young recruits are not the unemployed working class teenagers that you might expect. They come from all social strata: squeaky clean suburban kids, streetwise skinheads and middle-class university students.
What they share is an uncertain future in a world that is far more morally complex than anything their parents knew. Their solutions are often simple, violent and unapologetically hateful. They are looking for someone to blame. Today, the average age of a typical Canadian racist is 18 to 20.
Hearts of Hate is a frightening wake-up call. Illusions of Canada as a peaceful, tolerant society are profoundly challenged. Exploiting new communication technologies, these bigots are no longer occupying the political fringe and are far from laughable. In fact, these young people and their racist mentors don’t look much different from you, or me, or our own kids.
In the early 1960s the Canadian government conducted an experiment in social engineering. Three 12-year-old Inuit boys, Peter Ittinuar, Zebedee Nungak and Eric Tagoona, were sent to live with White families in Ottawa, to be educated in White schools. The consequences for the boys, their families, their identity, and their culture were brushed aside.
The bureaucrats who brought the boys South did not anticipate the outcome of their experiment. The boys grew up to become leaders of their people, and lifelong thorns in the side of the government. The battles they fought and won were instrumental in the establishment of aboriginal rights in Canada, and led to the creation of Nunavut, the world’s largest self-governing aboriginal territory. But it all came at enormous personal cost.
A series of three videos that illuminate Canada's father of palliative medicine, Dr. Balfour Mount, whose own brushes with death have shaped a career that has fundamentally changed the way we care for people at the end of life. Poignant and often humorous, these intimate portraits reveal his personal struggle with illness, his philosophy on healing, and his beliefs about caring for the dying.Produced for the Canadian Virtual Hospice (http://www.virtualhospice.ca)
Living with Kidney Failure is a film about the lived-experience of seven individuals of different ages, disease histories and cultural backgrounds. The stories of their dialysis-dependency highlight some of the quality-of-life issues faced by people living with chronic kidney failure. While their experiences are in some ways specific to their disease and treatment, the issues of family strain, unemployment, uncertainty, vulnerability and mortality will be familiar to all those who live or work with chronic illness.
This film is the product of a two-year participatory action research project which involved researchers from McGill University and patient-collaborators from two university-affiliated hemodialysis units. This film has several different goals: (a) raising awareness about kidney disease in the general public, (b) exploring quality of life and chronic illness issues with health care students and professionals, (c) providing chronically ill people with a larger sense of community (d) offering administrators and health-policy legislators a window into the needs of this rapidly growing patient-population.
The entire film can be viewed at http://www.mcgill.ca/wholepersoncare/3partfilm/watchthemovie/