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Once Upon a Journey| 39mins
Director: Maureen Marovitch & David Finch | Producer: Marike Emery & David Finch
Focus Years: 2002 | Country: Canada
Subject Tags: americas, canada, communication, culture, education, inter-cultural relations, migration
Quality Tags: Optimistic, Slow, Activating, Harmonizing
"Once Upon a Journey" tells the story of a unique media studies program at Laurier Macdonald High School in the east end of Montreal. The overwhelming majority of the students in this school are second and third generation Canadians, most of Italian descent. Their project has them interview older family members, then write and design a professionally printed book based on the immigrant experiences of their relatives. But "Once Upon a Journey" goes beyond the classroom into the homes and lives of several of the students. So while preparing and enjoying traditional foods are a big part of Italian culture, fifteen-year-old Veronica is struggling with a very North American eating disorder. Budding scientist student Sal is making his elementary school-educated grandfather proud by winning awards and getting the education the elder couldn’t. But in contrast "slacker" Andrew is mouthy with his parents and isn’t interested in learning to speak Italian. Meanwhile, Andrew’s mother admits that she feels lost and confused about how to raise her sons: she rejected her own ultra-strict Italian upbringing, but is the more liberal Canadian method really working? "Once Upon a Journey" portrays the joys and challenges of growing up in a community that bridges two different culture and value systems.

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Maureen Marovitch



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