Welcome to Africville

Dana C. Inkster

1999, 15:00 minutes, colour, English


Dana Inkster's Welcome to Africville is the first fiction film to be set in this historical site. This short film gives a glimpse into the hearts and minds of four Africville residents on the eve of destruction of their commun3ity. 1999, the year the film was made, marked the 30th anniversary of the destruction of the Halifax community known as Africville.

It stars the Genie nominated Alexander Chapman (Lilies); stage, television and film veteran Kathy Imre (Shaft's Big Score); singer/actor Amanda Strawn and Nunya Beckley in her acting debut. MeShell Ndégeocello, the first major artist to be signed onto Madonna's Maverick label and a four-time Grammy nominee, composed Welcome to Africville's soulful original score.

Festival description:
Welcome to Africville
gives voice to what may have been marginalized members of an Afro-Canadian community in 1969. It's intention is to be a catalyst to thought and reflection about the lives and struggles of people from that community whose stories still go untold.

It is the fictional account of a family. We listen to the stories of three generations of women and their friend Julius on the day their community is to be destroyed by the municipal government of Halifax.

This story is a portrait of four individuals coping with universal uncertainties and insecurities.

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Critical Writing

Isaac Julien's Children: Black Queer Cinema
by Rinaldo Walcott. Fuse, July 2002, v. 24, no. 2.
Weird Geographies: Video Art from the Atlantic Region/Translantique
by Sarah Hollenberg. Arts Atlantic, Fall 2002, v. 19, no. 73 / 4.
Top 20 Toronto Films since 1981
by Cameron Bailey. Now, Oct. 25, 2001, v. 21, no. 8.
Double the demons
by Richard Burnett. Montreal Gazette, Aug. 1999.
The Archaeology of Origin: Transnational Visions of Africa in...
by Sheila Petty. The Archaeology of Origin, 1999. Montreal: ABC Art Books, 1999.
The Archaeology of Origin: Transnational Visions of Africa in a...
by Dr. Sheila Petty. Halifax: MSVU Art Gallery and Dunlop Art Gallery, 1999.