“A Past, Denied” Teaser


It’s been a bit of a frustrating time getting this thing out the door. Just when you think it’s all finished, you spot a detail that takes you back a number of steps in order to correct. Was it Lucas or was it Speilberg that said “Movies are never finsied; they are abandoned”?¹ Well, this is only a teaser—a minute and a halfpseudo trailer, if you will—to give you a little taste of what’s going on with this thing. I’m very happy with it and am excited to share it with you.

The teaser is available in four sizes: HD (50 MB)Large (19 MB)Medium (9 MB) and Small (5 MB). QuickTime Player or something else that supports playback of H.264 mp4 files is required.

Download, enjoy and pass it along to your friends. Please spread this video around and help get the word out. In this economy, independent productions—documentaries especially—need all the support they can get!

¹Whoever it was, they were actually riffing off Leonardo da Vinci who originally said “Art is never finished, only abandoned.”

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Posted Tuesday, August 25th, 2009 under Documentary.


  1. I watched your “teaser.” It’s just one person talking to the camera. It does not inspire confidence that there’s actually a film there. Anyone can talk to the camera about anything.

    This seems like a somewhat important topic (to Canadians at least). If there’s actually more to it, it should be there so as to convince people you actually have a movie.

    • Greetings Joe,

      Thank you for writing in. As I point out on the “About the Film”/Home page of the site, the film is currently in production; there is not yet a finished product. It is not uncommon for teasers to be released whilst a project is in progress. This is typically done to create some awareness (start some buzz) about the project and/or to show potential investors/supporters that there is something being made — to show something tangible rather than abstract proposals and treatments.

      Due to the nature of filmmaking in Canada being what it is, the pace of production is moving slower than anyone would normally like. I am currently funding this film directly out of my own pocket, which means I do what I can, when I can with what little I have. This is not by choice, but out of necessity.

      The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) has been acting as a bit of a non-player thus far. I submitted my proposal to them in November of 2007. On December 9, 2007 the head of English production of the Quebec office called me and expressed interest in the project. Our discussion ended with an agreement that they would have me in for a meeting with one of their senior (and award-winning) producers to discuss more. It was very non-committal but had the air of promise. I then spent the next 12 – 13 months trying to get them to arrange that meeting. Dozens of unreturned phone calls and email messages were made trying to get a simple “yay or nay” in respect to their interest in being involved.

      I eventually finally received a phone call after getting a message to the producer through back channels. He and I had a great conversation, however he informed me of his impending retirement and thus he could not be involved. He told me he would forward my project to another producer whom he believed would be a good match. This was back in late Winter of 2008. Since then I have had no communication with the NFB.

      The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), which is Canada’s answer to the BBC, has been more forthcoming in their rejection even if their reasons are veiled. At the beginning of Summer 2008, the Creative Head for Digital Channels at the CBC, while saying it was an “interesting and worthy” project, did not fit their programming slate — “too much history,” he said. Considering I make the point at the very beginning of my written proposal that the main points of the documentary is how an inaccurate and dishonest history impinges on the present and how slavery’s “twin legacies” manifest in our time, you tell me if they really think they are concerned with the historical content or if it is the controversial nature that is really what is keeping them from getting onboard. I can’t read his mind, but everyone with whom I share this story agree it is the latter.

      While I am still exploring other avenues, I am not waiting for funding to come in to get this film made. I am moving forward at the best speed I can.

      A great deal of interest and moral support has come in from not only Canadians, but from people in the US, Europe and as far as Australia. They identify with the subtext — the underlying message that not only does history matter, but honest history matters. That whether it’s the early Canadian’s involvement in the transatlantic slave trade, the Turks’ genocide of Armenians, the German genocide of Jews, or Israel’s expulsion of Palestinians in their 1948 ethnic cleanse (which the Israeli Education Ministry recently announced it plans to omit from their school history books), the truth must be told.

      Mike Barber

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