The Mosuo-Sisters

Reel 2 Real may be over for another year but you can still get your fix of engaging and challenging films for youth courtesy of DOXA Documentary Film Festival 2013 with their 5th annual Rated Y for Youth (RYY) program.

‘DOXA selects programming specifically for school-aged students, giving youth an opportunity to attend the festival, view thought-provoking documentaries and participate in lively post-film discussions with filmmakers and community members. This collection of films covers everything from hip hop to the Occupy movement to animal rights with intelligence, energy and a huge amount of heart.’

The RYY program includes The Mosuo Sisters, Occupy The Movie, Empathy: Pass it On, The Great Hip Hop Hoax and The Ghosts in Our Machine.

Full information on all titles can be found here –

Reel 2 Real’s 3 Top Picks for Youth are:

Short Film packages are a big part of the R2R’s Program so we are really looking forward to this selection which  includes a panel discussion after.

Shorts Program | 100 mins including panel discussion
Suitable for Grade 6-12 students | G
Wednesday May 8, 2013 | 1:00PM | VIFF’s Vancity Theatre

A collection of powerful films about coming to terms with difference. Whether that means understanding identity, celebrating challenge, or finding strength through imagination, each of the protagonists in these films are the heroes of their own stories.

Films include:
Camp by Tomasz Jeziorski, Poland, 2012, 19 mins G
Straight with You by Daan Bol, The Netherlands, 2012, 19 mins G (coarse language)
Freestyle Life by Adam Palenta, Poland, 2012, 10 mins G
Mookie by Neske Beks, The Netherlands, 2012,19 mins G (coarse language)(Also screened at R2R Film Festival 2013)

DR. KIMBERLY SCHONERT-REICHL is an Applied Developmental Psychologist and a Professor in the Dept. of Educational and Counseling Psychology and Special Education at UBC. For more than 20 years, her research has focused on the social and emotional development of young people, with a particular emphasis on empathy, altruism, compassion, and resiliency.

Marlo Poras | China/USA | 2012 | 110 mins incl. panel discussion
Suitable for Grade 8-12 students | G
Monday May 6, 2013 | 12:30PM | VIFF’s Vancity Theatre

The Mosuo people in China make up one of the last matriarchal societies in the world. Juma (25) and Latso (22) are sisters from a remote Mosuo village tucked away in the foothills of the Himalayas. The film follows the sisters as they navigate their way through two parallel worlds: China’s changing economy and Mosuo tradition. When the sisters move to Beijing, to take jobs in the entertainment industry, their understanding of the world undergoes a profound shock. As one sister says, “I felt like a tiny grain of sand.” The scale of the city is like nothing they have seen before. Even the idea of apartment dwelling confounds the sisters. When they first arrive they think that each skyscraper tower is a single dwelling, only to discover the homes are divided up like an enormous beehive. Just as they’re settling in, the economic downturn of 2009 forces Juma and Latso to postpone their dreams of higher education and modern jobs, and return to their village.
Determined to keep their family out of poverty, Latso agrees to stay home to help their mother on the farm, while Juma heads back to the city to make money as a singer. Juma learns to protect herself from gangsters and other wealthy bar dwellers and Latso gives up her dream of education to take on hard labour and child rearing. Whether it’s breathing in the dusty air of farm life or the second-hand smoke of cocktail lounges, both lifestyles carry their own set of challenges. “Staying at home, or leaving. They are both hard,” says Latso. The burden these women must bear takes its toll on their relationship. Despite their disagreements and disappointments, what keeps these sisters strong, is their open communication and unquestionable loyalty. After all, as Juma says, “The family you are born into is the most important thing in all life.” –SC

Trailer –

DR. GRAHAM JOHNSON is Professor of Sociology Emeritus at UBC, where he taught for 36 years until his retirement. His professional focus was on China, in particular the study of migration. From the late ‘70s he followed the rapid industrialization of south China, which has occasioned a migration of 25 million people from the country to the cities. Graham travelled extensively in China for 40 years, including the areas where many of China`s minority peoples live.


Liz Marshall | Canada | 2013 | 120 mins including panel discussion
Suitable for Grade 8-12 students | PG Scene of animal slaughter
Friday, May 10, 2013 | 12:30PM | VIFF’s Vancity Theatre

Humans have cleverly separated animals into three categories: domestic pets, wildlife and the ghosts in our machine.The latter are those animals who suffer at the helm of global industries. This film follows internationally renowned photographer Jo- Anne McArthur as she travels around the world documenting the lives of these animals. The result is a cinematic portrait of the ghosts who keep the machine of the modern world running.
Caged foxes, lab monkeys and beagles bred for research are just some of the ghosts Jo-Anne encounters on her journey. Part investigation and part art-project, her goal is to change the way we view our relationships with animals. “I’m not there to liberate them, I’m there to document them,“ she says. “As much as I’d like to liberate them from their cages, my role is to educate people so there won’t be future generations of these animals.”
Although careful not to evoke individual guilt, Jo-Anne’s photos are as disturbing as they are beautiful. The Ghosts in Our Machine makes it clear that the human/animal relationship is, indeed, the next big hurdle in our social and moral development. Avoiding the typical handheld camera activist aesthetic, the images are patient, simply resting on the eyes of each animal that Jo-Anne encounters. Beautifully composed photographs and the minimal score allow for a filmic space much needed to reflect on the question haunting our collective conscience. Animals: property or sentient beings? -SC

Trailer –

Toronto-based filmmaker LIZ MARSHALL, director, writer and producer of The Ghosts in Our Machine.
KELLY DAVIDSON, animal lover and shop manager at a Vancouver LUSH Cosmetics store. Motivated to make change, in the summer of 2012 Kelly embarked on the ‘Ghost Free Journey,’ a customized vegan lifestyle challenge designed to inspire and educate a broad demographic about the value of becoming a conscious consumer.
School Groups
If you’re a teacher or counsellor interested in bringing students to a Rated Y for Youth screening at the group discount rates, please follow this link for pdf doc and further information –
If you have further questions, please contact Educational Coordinator, Caroline Coutts at

All films are approved and classified by Consumer Protection BC.
Group tickets are $5 per student when purchased by school groups.
Enjoy the celebration of nonfiction filmmaking at DOXA and congratulations to DOXA on another exciting program for 2013.

Reel 2 Real
International Film Festival for Youth
Unit 90, 425 Carrall Street,
Vancouver, BC V6B 6E3 Canada

Tel: 604-224-6162
Fax: 604-224-6162 (please call first)


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