Movie Monday film collection will go to Greater Victoria library

Coming soon to a public library near you: Federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau. Well, almost.

God Save Justin Trudeau: The Art of Politics in the 21st Century, a Quebec documentary, is one of dozens of films being donated to public libraries, says Bruce Saunders, founder of Movie Monday, the weekly community screening program. The film chronicles the Liberal leader’s March 31, 2012, charity boxing match with now-suspended Senator Patrick Brazeau.

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“It shows the balls Justin Trudeau has to have to put himself out there,” says Saunders, who will present the film June 29 at Eric Martin Pavilion Theatre. “With his shirt off, he’s kind of a scrawny-looking guy compared to this political pugilist he was up against.”

God Save Justin Trudeau is one of the films being made available through a partnership between Movie Monday and the Greater Victoria Public Library. The Movie Monday collection has been without a home for post-première viewing since last summer’s closing of Yo Video, the Oak Bay rental outlet that maintained a section devoted to Movie Monday.

“I can’t stand just being able to show a film once, and this is a really handy system,” says Saunders, whose films will augment the GVPL’s collection of DVDs and Blu-Rays available for free to users.

“It’s great that these films are available and in use — that’s what filmmakers want. To have them not circulating is painful.”

The collection includes Alien Boy: The Life and Death of James Chasse, Brian Lindstrom’s heart-wrenching documentary about Portland police officers behaving badly that screened in April, Birth Story: Ina May and the Farm Midwives, The Storytelling Class, and Canadian features such as Edwin Boyd: Gentleman Bank Robber, Fetching Cody and The Viking, the earliest sound film made in Canada.

“The Movie Monday program is a Greater Victoria institution, and we’re happy to help provide access to these works beyond their screenings,” said Rina Hadziev, GVPL co-ordinator of collections and technical services. The library system is providing cataloguing services to make the donated Movie Monday films easily accessible to the public for home viewing.

Homegrown documentaries shown by Movie Monday include several films by Gumboot Productions, including The Art of Compassion, Kuper Island: Return to the Healing Circle and Killer Whale and Crocodile.

Since Movie Monday’s roots are in the mental-health community, several films explore mental illness, substance abuse and “circumstances that can isolate people from mainstream life,” Saunders says.

Topics include Alzheimer’s disease (Complaints of a Dutiful Daughter), addiction (Finding Normal, Cracked Not Broken), Tourette’s syndrome (Life’s a Twitch), autism (Loving Lampposts) and cognitive disability (A Friend Indeed).

The immediate challenge has been “having to choose between my babies,” says Saunders, who initially submitted 38 titles for consideration and still has 100 “precious films” gathering dust in his home office.

As to when current titles such as Andrea Dorfman’s new romantic drama Heartbeat, screening June 22 with the Halifax filmmaker in attendance, might be added: “It’s a matter of asking the filmmakers.”

You can find the collection through a Movie Monday keyword search of the library’s catalogue at gvpl.ca and through moviemonday.ca.

mreid@timescolonist.com

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