Monthly Archives: April 2012

PAA Film Night – “Now That We Are Filmmakers”

Metro Cinema is partnering with the Provincial Archives of Alberta to uncover some cinematic treasures from our past. On Friday, April 20, Now That We Are Filmmakers showcases films by and about Alberta women for the PAA’s 27th annual film night. Come and see how they’ve viewed the world, challenged the world and made a world for themselves.  A few highlights:

From Edmonton to Berlin with the Grads
Join the Edmonton Grads basketball team on their 1936 European tour, as they enjoy the scenery, play some demonstration b-ball and bask in Olympic pageantry – Hitler even makes a brief cameo.

Barry Broadfoot’s Pioneer Years: Women
Based on Broadfoot’s book The Pioneer Years, this film presents the challenges of settling a woman’s west.

Milk Maid’s Folly
A dashing lothario ignores his wedding vows to seduce a young woman in this cautionary, home movie melodrama.

Ruth & Harriet: Two Women of the Peace

This 1973 film offers a slice of the lives of two Peace River-area women who are as strongly individualistic and self-reliant as any pioneer. Their world is made of the things they cherish: the homestead, the river, the bush, the wildlife of the forest, their children and their men.

Alberta Girls
The Edmonton-based Alberta All Girls Band was invited to open the 1974 World Cup Soccer Championship in Munich. Suddenly, this regional Canadian band was performing its music and precise marching formations before a combined live and television audience of over half a billion people.

And more!  Check out the official trailer here:

Now That We Are Filmmakers screens Friday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m., at Metro Cinema at the Garneau, 8712 109 St, Edmonton. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for students and seniors (student ID is required), and $6 for children under 13. Tickets go on sale at the box office 45 minutes before show time.

For more information on Provincial Archives Film Night, please contact the archives at 780-427-1750.

From Bethlehem to Banff?

Thanks to Jane Parkinson of the Paul D. Fleck Library and Archives at the Banff Centre for this post.

Part of the pleasure of working in an archives is that when you’re looking for something, you’re apt to come across something else, completely unexpected and probably more interesting than what you’re looking for.

This happened here a few weeks ago, when I was reviewing some contact sheets of conference photos from the early 1970s.  In a corner of one contact sheet, alongside images of a visiting conference group and some faculty portraits, there was this:

Unidentified copy print, Paul D. Fleck Library and Archives.

What the heck?

Looking a bit closer, it was clear that this was actually a photograph of a photograph.  I can picture the unknown photographer here in the 1970’s taking a photograph of an old print and giving the owner the negative.  Unfortunately, there’s no name of an original photographer or studio, or any other clue about where the original print was taken or when.

My curiosity aroused, I’ve since taken some personal time to look at our library’s books on costume design and confirmed that the costumes of the men were from somewhere in the Middle East.  To try to pin down where exactly, I focussed on the woman’s spectacular hat, and searching the web found references to the shatweh headdress traditional to Bethlehem. Underneath the white veil would be a cap hung with coins. The woman’s dress with the embroidered square (qabbeh) on the bodice and long pointed sleeves was known as a thob.  Here’s a photograph from the web showing the last Bethlehem woman to routinely wear this striking costume:

The seated man is wearing a jubbe, an outer coat traditional throughout the Middle East. While he wears a cloth turban wound over a cap, the standing man – likely their son – wears a keffiyeh held in place with an agal.  You can also notice that the older man is smoking and carries a set of beads in his left hand.  This could indicates he was of the Greek Orthodox faith, as was most of the population of Bethlehem around 1900. Apparently, many of the Christians of that region emigrated to North America, particularly the US, in the twentieth century.

That’s as far as my research and speculations have taken me – maybe someone else has additional insight?