Marker of Change - the documentary
“People think the women's movement is dead, passé, irrelevant. They should watch this film.” – Francine Pelletier, journalist
On December 6, 1989, 14 young women at Montréal's Ecole Polytechnique were systematically hunted down and shot to death in what would become known as the Montréal Massacre. Within hours, the name of the man responsible was known across Canada and beyond, but who could remember the names of the murdered women?
As Canadians denied the connection between this crime and the larger problem of violence against women, a determined band of Vancouver feminists came together to build a monument and to educate Canadians on the widespread occurrence of such crimes. Marker of Change: The Story of the Women's Monument follows the seven-year struggle of the group to create "something loving, something permanent" that named and remembered women murdered by men.
From the moment of its inception, the project was dogged by controversies, the biggest of these when its dedication hit the media. The inscription, "for all women murdered by men" sparked a furor, as some charged that the monument labelled all men as murderers. Overcoming negative press, the group found many supporters, among them Suzanne LaPlante Edward, mother of murdered student Anne Marie Edward; feminist /activist Rosemary Brown; Québec feminist and Governor-General award-winning author Nicole Brossard; and Vancouver City Councillor Nancy Chiavario. Some 6,000 donors contributed to the monument before it was completed.
Toronto artist and instructor at Ontario College of Art & Design, Beth Alber, was selected from a national competition to create the monument. She talks about the process of its creation, intercut with footage of the installation.
Like the monument itself, this vital documentary is intended to provoke a shift in Canadian consciousness from denial to healing to societal change.
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