Contemporary Canadian Literature and Film:
Nation, Race and Gender
Unit 2
Gender, Race and Surviving Trauma or
Contemporary Canadian Literature and Film:
Nation, Race and Gender Unit 1
Gender, Nation and Global Culture
Power, Memory and Gender in Media
Internal and External Boundaries
Two Types of Globalization
Boundary-Breaking and Boundary Setting
Trauma and Healing
Identity Crisis in Teenage and Old Age
Body, Gender Identity and Consumer Society
Body, Race and Gender Identity
Contemporary Canadian Literature and Film:
Nation, Race and Gender Unit 2
Gender, Race and Surviving Trauma or
Caribbean Canadian in Toronto
Survival in the Postmodern & Apocalyptic City
East-Asian Canadian -- Racial Prejudice: Past and
Memory and Fragmentary Identity
Rituals of Reconciliation and Reconstruction
Language, Race and Identity: Chinese Canadian
The Caribbean Diaspora in
Rude and “The Canadian Experience”
 History of Immigration and Multiculturalism
 The Caribbean community at Toronto.
 Rude
 Canadian Experience
Multiculturalism  Mosaic as
Canadian national identity
 The 1981 census was ...the first to allow
respondents to declare their maternal as well as
their paternal heritage, which provides a limited
opportunity to reveal more than one ethnic
 Multiculturalism Act (1988)
  controversies 1) aborigines included or not; 2)
ghettoization? (clips 1, 2 from Toronto: the
Meeting Place)
The Caribbean immigration
to Canada: Reasons
Reasons: 1960’s -- Canadian immigration laws were
reformed in order to base criteria for admission on
individual qualifications rather than on countries of
 Great Britain was closing its doors to massive migration
from the non-white Commonwealth; consequently,
many West Indians who would normally have migrated
from the Caribbean to Britain have been taking
advantage of Canada’s liberalized policies.
The Caribbean immigration to
Canada: Early Immigrants
Students  e.g. Austin Clarke
 maids; Jobs for women as
domestics and babysitters are almost
always available despite downtrends
in the general economy. Access to employment for men
is somewhat more difficult.
  inequality in males’ and females’ financial abilities
 (e.g. Rude)
The Caribbean immigrants
in Toronto: Racism
Examples of Racism
 institutional racism -- the policies and practices of an
organization are not attuned to their needs and interests,
with the result that the migrants do not derive benefits
equal to that of other Canadians.
 e.g. 1. Disregard for their African and Caribbean
heritage in the curriculum of schoool and postsecondary
institutions; 2. “Canadian Experience”
 subtle messages and cues signal the dislike or lack of
welcome to a migrant of colour.
 Brutal examples: police brutality. Clip 3: the Caribbeans
Clement Virgo: Director
From Jamaica; went to Toronto as a
teenager--at the age of 11. He honed his
visual sensibility during his five years working
in the fashion industry as a window display
 Sex: “I like making films that have sex and
bodies and all those very human things in
them. I think we are so hung up on sex that
we don’t know how to enjoy it.”
 Race: Virgo sees racial issues as symptoms
of the larger human condition. . . .Things
spiral inwards in Virgo films.. . (Monk 207)
Starting Questions
 What are the problems Luke, Maxine and Jordan
face respectively, and how do they solve them?
(e.g. Maxine; Maxine and Jordan)
 What are the functions of Rude, the pirate radio
DJ? (clip 1, 2 )
 What is the style of this film and how are
symbols used?
Rude: Setting
1. Time frame: From Good Friday to Easter
2. Space: in Toronto
Three main stories:
Luke – apartment house, drug den, a wall,
Maxine – apartment room, camera
Jordan – boxing ring, locker room and shower room.
Rude –dark radio space from Zulu nation to Mohawke
There seems to be no walls in each zone and the
previous scene will skillfully change to the next.
General Luke’s Family
A.The Power Relationship between Luke
and Jessie
1. Luke: a drug dealer just released
from jail, has nothing at all.
2. Jessica: a female cop, has power,
money, and a home.
Eg. : Husband and Wife’s
a. Jessica is the one who decides whether
Luke stays or leaves
b. When Luke tells Jessica that he can’t
afford buying ice cream to his son,
Jessica says that she could give him
money as long as he asks.
c. Jessica saves Luke when Yankee
threatens to kill him at the end.
Luke and Johnny
B. Father-son Relationship:
Luke tries to rebuild his relationship with his son and
be a good father, but he seems can’t satisfy his
child’s needs
1. Luke doesn’t know how to take care of his son.
(The cooking scene)
Luke and Johnny
2. Luke can do nothing with Johnny’s
education and inferiority complex.
3. Luke can’t even provide the basic
material needs for Johnny.
Luke social problems—drug
 Yankee: “You like to suck my dick?”
Luke, Reese and Drug Business
 Yankee: asks Luke to be in charge; says Reece
cannot be trusted, cannot even live till the
thirty. destroys Reece
 A.
Love relationship
 1. The symbolic meaning of the
 2. The objectification of female
Maxine: camera objectification
Maxine (2)
 B.
Cultural Identity
 1. The myth of metropolis.
 2. The symbolic meaning of the image
of the little girl.
Boxer Jordan
A. Homosexuality and boxing
 1. The boxing community as an all-male
 2. The masculinity of boxers shown in the
shower and locker-room scene. E.g. “The
faggot grabbed my dick.” in the Regent Park.
(e.g. next slide)
Boxer Jordan
Boxer Jordan (2)
B. Jordon’s state
 1. His difficult situation among gay
 2. His expression of guilt through
punch bag and boxing with his friend
 3. His break-through by kissing his
friend and allowing the man in the park
to beat him.
Boxer Jordan (2)
Rude’s Function and Role
Dah Poet/Prophet
1.rhythmic intonation & monologue
2.calling forth the lost identities of
Caribbean immigrants/black diaspora
3.foreseeing the future & mentioning about
“Fifty thousand is the number of boys and girls,
dogs and bitches. Fifty zero zero zero
thousand puppies will be conceived on this
beautiful Friday night”
Boys and girls, the lion is loose tonight. If
you’ve seen his Majesty, give him a call.
If you lost the song of your disenfranchised
diasporic voice, give me a call.Maybe I have it.
No one wants to hear your voice, bitch, why
don’t you give it back. Cause there’s nobody
want any love, too.
Rude’s call for awakening
Don't recognize my voice; can't see my face? Many
faces, isolation, isolated by a fragile infantile
fantasy.Many sleep with eyes open, coping with the
pain that stays in the brain.
Don't recognize my voice; can't see my face?Rock the
light pace, feel the blood waves.Treading motor, a
tragic existence is a coexistence.Fight with spiritual
Don't recognize my voice; can't see my face?A kiss of
dysfunctional illusion, fusion of silence plus night
confusion, sweet and sour delusion.Laws of survival:
resist the self-rival, self-righteous primal desire to see,
to feel, to buy, to find the bland center of
identity.Reality.Reality? Two-dimensional
sensuality.To touch you is not to know you.
Rude’s call for awakening
Don't recognize my voice; can't see my face?The past is
set for me destructive destiny.Self-fulfilling prophecy.Oh,
the tragedy.Another ocean swallows the island, treading
water, a tragic existence fight with spiritual persistence.
Don't recognize my voice; can't see my face?A kiss of
mental intrusion,
physical exclusion, inaccessible solution, seeking
spiritual evolution.Voided eyes, embraced by a lie,
coated in self-despise.
physical exclusion, inaccessible solution, seeking spiritual
evolution.Voided eyes, embraced by a lie, coated in selfdespise.
I wonder, I ponder, I imagine -if I shall rise from my sublime demise?
Don't recognize my voice?"
Rude’s call for awakening
*Oh, ya, shouts from the mother ship have just been
heard.. . . Keep yourself on the prize and you’ll live to
see the dawn.
“Is this mother-fucker what you really want?”
Foretelling the end of Western
Tonight we worship the golden calf.Eat the
sacred codes and speak in recognized tones.
 Tonight the uncircumcised participate in the
intercourse.A music is for the youth, for they
shall inherit the earth.
 Tonight it’s gonna be like the last night of the
world.Propaganda and mind bombs rule.
Armageddon has begun.
 Luke confronts Yankee, who kidnaps Johnny,
 Jordon goes and get beaten up by the gay man
who his group beat up before;
 Maxine
Rude: Final Call for rebirth
It’s Easter Sunday morning.The sun is rising, the
sun has risen.And the mother ship is leaving.Our
majesty has forgiven us, and our senile sins are
washed away.You just heard the trumpets
disguised as gunshots singing us home.So all
aboard on our mother ship for those who want a
chance of rebirth.
 I’m sending out an SOS to the boys and girls
that were taken from the mainland brought to the
land of Mohawke and . . .I’m sending out an
SOS.If you want to reach my voice, give me a
call.You know my number.
Rude’s Function and Role (2)
B. Rebellious voice from the immigrants
towards the colonizers
--criticizing the fall of "the Babylon"/"the
land of the Morak"(sex, violence,isolation)
C. The struggling of hunger/desire inside
Caribbean immigrants' hearts
--feeling it everywhere through the airwaves
(studio--nowhere--dinning room)
D. Announces the possibility of salvation on
Easter Sunday. (next slide)
Rude’s Function and Role (2)
Virgo: “I created my own 'hood, the sort of
'hood where a lion could roam, where
mystical aboriginal spirits could dance
among urban, transported Africans."
A. The religious imageries are mixed up with
Caribbean folk belief.
 1. Lion as Hail Salosea
 2. Easter and Black Jesus
 3. The wall with pictures (examples)
B. The redemption appearing in the end fits the
1. Sun and rebirth
2. Music
Symbols: the mural
Foretelling the end of Western
civ. –the spirit dancer
Canadian Experience: Structure
1. Preparing for the interview (dress and pyschological
preparation; his past and present situations in Toronto
 P. 55 : going out finally: 1) subway car; 2) elevator in the
 Back to his apartment, talks to the actress’
 Back to his room, thinks of the past and a way out
 Pp. 62 On a platform
Canadian Experience: Starting
 Why cannot the protagonist gets his job?
are his problems?
 How does he finally solve his problems?

Rude - FJU