A new documentary about the cooperative movement, titled A Silent Transformation, is available for grassroots screenings, first in Ontario and then the rest of Canada starting this year. Co-director Simon Brothers says that the 70-minute documentary will be made available to credit unions and co-ops for a $400 screening fee. A Silent Transformation’s production company, Powerline Films of Stratford, Ont., has also created downloadable facilitation notes to help guide groups through community discussions following a screening, Brothers says.
A Silent Transformation reveals the myriad possibilities of the cooperative model, which promotes
economic democracy as an alternative to the capitalist model. Economic democracy is achieved by co-op members creating their working conditions collectively, helping ensure protections for all participants. The power and impact of this model are showcased by brief but fascinating snippets from history as well as by looking at worker, producer, consumer and multi stakeholder co-ops and through interviews with representatives from restaurants, food and Indigenous housing co-ops, among others. The documentary also explores the impact of credit unions on communities and includes discussions with people like Bill Maurin, CEO of Meridian Credit Union (300,000 members, $14 billion in assets) in Niagara Falls, Ont.
A trailer of A Silent Transformation can be viewed at vimeo.com/229041971 and further information about screenings can be found on the website, asilenttransformation.ca. (A 50-minute educational version is also being made available.)
A Silent Transformation was three years in the making. It was created by Brothers, Luke Mistruzzi, Mark Preston and Anton Smolski, who formed an informal co-op to create the documentary.
It was financed through crowd funding as well as with assistance from the Atkinson Foundation, the Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada and Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada. ◊