Editor’s Note: #CanCon

On November 5, 2012, I sent an email to a group of women with the subject line: “A semi-formed idea.” Would people be interested in starting a film journal, one centred on feminism? This was the ask. Everyone said yes. Over the next six years, that semi-formed idea would become cléo journal. It would become […]

A Complicated Dualism: An Interview with Patricia Rozema

Patricia Rozema comes by her interest in dualism naturally. Raised in a Calvinist home in southern Ontario, religious fables — dealing in warring virtues and identities — formed the criterion of her childhood. Mindful of the efficacy of these tales, her directing career has stood in opposition to convenient symmetry. For Rozema, discord — between […]

Remembering Portia White

Portia White_Think on Me_Sylvia D. Hamilton

Canadian filmmaker and writer Sylvia D. Hamilton reflects on the subject of her 2000 documentary Portia White: Think On Me. Portia White, Contralto (June 24, 1911- February 13, 1968) Portia White was a Nova Scotian classical concert performer who was born in Truro, N.S. and raised with her siblings in Halifax by her parents, Rev. […]

P4W: Prison for Women and Hookers on Davie: The Documentaries of Holly Dale and Janis Cole

P4: Prison for Women documentary 1

Documentary filmmaking has long been celebrated as a distinctly Canadian art form, yet the works of radical women documentarians like Holly Dale and Janis Cole remain overlooked. Their feature documentaries P4W: Prison for Women (1981) and Hookers on Davie (1984) were both landmark films: P4W was one of the earliest on-screen representations of incarcerated Canadian […]

“Moving with the Dead” in Rhymes for Young Ghouls

In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) released a report detailing the abuses and deaths of around 150,000 Indigenous children in residential schools in the settler state known as Canada.[i] While the numbers allow a glimpse of the “truth” of settler colonialism, the dialogue surrounding residential schools in both Canada and the United States remains […]

Expanding the Canon: The Cinema of Michka Saäl

“She really was an unfortunately overlooked director.” Charlotte Selb, a colleague, wrote this in an email to me nearly a year ago. The filmmaker she was referring to was Michka Saäl, who had passed away suddenly after a quick illness in 2017. “As a woman, an immigrant and just somebody who wasn’t much of a […]

Women to Watch: Sofia Bohdanowicz

Firsts are often thought to belong to the young: first steps, first word, first day of school, first kiss, first heartbreak. In this way, firsts are synonymous with novelty, momentous events that become less and less frequent—or at least less publicly lauded—as time passes. It’s a logic that emphasizes youth and calcifies the assumption that […]