I was worried that it had been cancelled or something, because normally it starts earlier in the summer, but CBC has finally opened the curtain on its yearly Absolutely Quebec series of regional specials.
As in previous years, the series of six one-hour episodes, produced by Carrie Haber, runs Saturdays at 7pm, each hour a different documentary based in Quebec.
The first, called Cities Held Hostage, stars former Montreal Gazette columnist Henry Aubin and discusses the very topical issue of real estate and housing prices in an urban environment. While Montreal hasn’t gone insane like Vancouver and Toronto, it is part of a system, and this documentary explores that system.
The remaining documentaries are as follows:
The Gardener (Sept. 2): A documentary reflecting on a spiritual and creative approach to gardening. A highly experiential program profiling one of Quebec’s prolific landscape artists, Frank Cabot.
Napagunnaqullusi — So that you can stand (Sept. 9): The story of the 11 Inuit signatories of the James Bay Agreement as they took on the Quebec government to protect their land and their children’s future in the early 1970s.
I’m Still Your child (Sept. 16): Jessy, Sarah and Von are all familiar with the “ups and downs” of living with a parent who suffers from mental illness. I’m Still Your Child immerses us in a bewildering, yet hopeful, world through the stories of three compelling subjects.
Abu (Sept. 23): As a gay man, Filmmaker Arshad Khan explores his troubled relationship with his devout, Muslim, Pakistani father Abu.
Studios, Lofts and Jam Spaces (Sept. 30): Follows musician and visual artist Little Scream (Laurel Sprengelmeyer) and fashion designer Jennifer Glasgow as they launch their works into the world.
The last episode in this series is based on a series by the same name that aired as 10 episodes on community channel MAtv earlier this year.
Details of the Absolutely Quebec season, and trailers for some of the docs, can be found on CBC’s website.
Absolutely Quebec airs Saturdays from 7 to 8 pm from Aug. 26 to Sept. 30.