ShantiThakur Experimental FilmsDocumentary Films Narrative Films




One Saturday evening in a peaceful Montreal suburb, a murder took place outside the Black Community Council of Quebec (BCCQ). A dance was taking place at the center when four Haitian men arrived, shot and killed one woman and injured two men. The press and broadcast news emphasized that it was a white woman shot by black men, and that black crime was involved... as soon as violence occurs within the black community, it becomes a "racial incident". The BCCQ received bomb threats and racist hate phone calls. Neighbors tried to shut it down. BCCQ workers were scared to go to work. Made in response to the media coverage, Crossing Borders evolved as a tool to create dialogue between the white neighbors and the BCCQ workers. Thakur made videos of both communities—the neighbors and the community workers. Then, Thakur showed each group the other's video and taped responses. Over six months, the process continued, until finally, both groups took steps to meet socially. Crossing Borders reveals the process where both communities could begin to erase the borders that separated them from each other.


Written, directed and edited by Shanti Thakur Made possible by Telefilm Canada

©1992, documentary
25 minutes, video, Canada




"Thakur started her work where the news stories stopped."

— Andre Picard, The Globe and Mail