Black Soul

2000, Martine Chartrand

Posted by John Martz, June 22, 2020

In Black Soul, by Haitian Canadian filmmaker Marine Chartrand, a young boy learns about his cultural heritage from his grandmother's numerous stories. Using the dreamlike animation technique of painting on glass, Chartrand depicts defining moments of Black history as they play out in the boy's imagination.

The film ends with a title card asserting that Canada was home to enslaved Black and Indigenous people from the 17th to the 19th century—a fact that is at odds with many Canadians' belief that not only was Canada immune to slavery, but that as a progressive country it is somehow devoid of any racism even today. But racism of course exists in Canada, and it is the responsibility of all white Canadians to recognize, identify, and dismantle systemic racism and white supremacy in every aspect of life.

This week Drawn is featuring BIPOC creators and stories in support of Black Lives Matter and the protests around the world to end systemic racism, particularly in policing. Join me in donating to both the Black Legal Action Centre and the Native Women's Association of Canada.