Across Cultures

See everything, hear everything

Watch 60 films, 170 excerpts and over 80 archival artefacts selected by NFB specialists as part of this unique project.

From Harling Point

 

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  Description     The film  
Traditional Chinese belief says that the soul of a person who dies in a foreign place wanders lost until their bones are returned home. For Chinese pioneers who died in Canada, Victoria's Chinese Cemetery at Harling Point was a temporary resting place until their bones could be returned home.

In this beautifully expressive film, director Ling Chiu traces the rich history of the Vancouver Island cemetery, from controversy and neglect, to its revival as a National Historic Site. Archival materials are delicately woven with interviews with two women from different generations. While the cemetery's story reflects how early migrants saw China as home, the vibrant voices of Edna Chow and Charlayne Thornton-Joe chart the emergence of a contemporary Chinese Canadian identity.

From the experiences of Chinese pioneers in an unwelcoming land to the efforts of subsequent generations to establish roots in Canada, From Harling Point is an eloquent exploration of tradition, belonging and the notion of home. Told by those closest to it, the story of Harling Point is a metaphor for Canada, a country still working on making a home for all who live within its borders.