The Storytelling Class

Genre:  Documentary
Running Time:  60 min.
Release Date: January 20, 2010 (limited)

Current rating: Rating: 4.90
based on 18 votes and 7 reviews
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Veteran Winnipeg documentary photographer and filmmaker John Paskevich (Ted Barlyuk's Grocery, The Gypsies of Svinia) and filmmaker John Whiteway have created a remarkably poignant new film about the healing power of storytelling based on a workshop initiated by Marc Kuly, a dynamic young teacher at Gordon Bell. Based on his students reading a new book by author Ishmael Beah about his one time experience as a child soldier in Sierra Leone's civil war Kuly, initiated an after-school storytelling project whereby the immigrant students would share stories with their Canadian peers.

Located in Winnipeg's downtown core, Gordon Bell High School is probably the most culturally varied school in the city. One recent survey found 58 different languages spoken by the student body. A large percentage of this diverse population is made up of children who have arrived as refugees from various war torn areas of the world. Traumatized by violence and displacement and experiencing culture shock in Canada, these immigrant children face challenges that are not easily understood by their Canadian classmates. In an effort to build bridges of friendship and belonging across cultures and histories, Documentary filmmakers John Paskievich and John Whiteway brought a camera into the classes so we see and hear some remarkably poignant stories of how the students see their lives and the stories they can tell.

Director: John Paskievich, John Whiteway

User Reviewsread all

  • 5 stars "There's some very deep insight into how we forget that the people around us are actually people, with pasts, and futures. We walk by the same people every day and don't realize that they might just be hurting more than we are. They might need that "genuine human interaction" more than they need anything else. This is a great film to show our young people today so they can take the time for a little bit to try to focus on someone other than themselves in this "me, me, me" world."
  • 4 stars "better than Avatar."
  • 5 stars "A real gem of a film. 5 stars."
The Storytelling Class Movie Poster