[Critique] “Dear Jackie”: Jackie Robinson, Little Burgundy, Racism and Us

Jackie Robinson represents hope. In his documentary dear jackieHenri Pardo calls up the man who was the first black man to break the glass ceiling of Major League Baseball by joining the Montreal Royals more than 75 years ago. “It’s amazing what Jackie Robinson did, but you quickly realize he’s not the only one. The director explains the other movie.” Evan Livingston, this now-retired former teacher and athlete, is one of them. Like all the characters featured in the Bardo movie, the resident of Little Burgundy tells us how he also had to overcome the pitfalls inherent in racism with a story peppered with the history of his neighborhood.

The disintegration of Little Burgundy, long inhabited by Afro-descendent communities, goes hand in hand with urban renewal resulting from the 1967 World Exposition, in particular with the construction of the Ville Marie Highway completed in 1972. “Montreal wanted to be open And it celebrates difference, but that wasn’t really what we saw on the street with all these transformations. That’s also what happened earlier in 1946, when Montreal said it was the city that welcomed Jackie Robinson, Henry Pardo asserts. We honored Jackie Robinson, but he was The exception is because in the end the individuals who make up the communities of African descent have been excluded.”

For the director, these exceptions still exist, and issues around systemic racism are changing. “Whether it’s Jackie Robinson, with segregation, or Barack Obama, and the overrepresentation of Africans in prisons, in both the United States and Canada, we must not forget that no one expects them to succeed. Today, the situation is changing, and we are talking about improvement. HenriPardo continues. With homes that have sold for over a million dollars at the expense of their historic residents, Little Burgundy is clearly no exception.

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light shock

These social pressures, including racism and black body displacement, are, in fact, ubiquitous. Henry Pardo notes: “Things don’t change, they are just veiled, camouflaged, under the guise of a post-race society, which Canada does not change.” He said that the economy and the culture of human exploitation still had a bright future.

“However, as a filmmaker, I am less interested in trauma than in culture and life,” he finally admits. Statement frankly reflected in Dear Jackie, With the rock-solid steadfastness of the people heard in the movie. “African-American communities in North America despite everything have continued to thrive helping each other and developing their art. We don’t always take them seriously, but artists are watchers of history,” warns Henry Pardo.

The solidarity that was also reflected, in the case of Little Burgundy, with the United United Church (UCC) is now dismantled and which the documentary praises for its central role in the region. There is a society that was built with nothing and characters that grew out of it. Union Carbide Corporation quickly became a pillar of education and participation, outside of religion, with an important place given to women. “It’s very inspiring,” says Henry Pardo. And he insists: If he says it dear jackie Similar to David’s fight against Goliath, the little variety should not be neglected.

dear jackie

★★★★

Henry Bardot Documentary, Quebec, 2021, 90 min. Inside.

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