Making a Difference in Ottawa

Bruce Bawer is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center and the author of “While Europe Slept” and “Surrender.” His book "The Victims' Revolution: The Rise of Identity Studies and the Closing of the Liberal Mind" is just out from Broadside / Harper Collins.


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Attendance at FTFS screenings has grown steadily.  Litwin markets each film differently: “When we showed the film The Soviet Story about the crimes of the Soviet Union, we did a lot of marketing to the Ukrainian and Polish communities and over 325 people came out.”

Though ignored by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and routinely treated with disrespect by the Ottawa’s left-leaning free weekly, the FTFS gets good coverage from conservative media outlet CFRA.

The success of the film programs inspired Litwin to start bringing in speakers as well.  I was honored to be the first; others have included Bat Ye’or and David Littman; in May, Litwin hosted Geert Wilders’s first appearance in Canada.  In November of last year FTFS held its first film festival, featuring films about the 1940 Katyn massacre, surveillance in East Germany, the role of unions in US public schools, the Durban “racism” conferences, anti-Semitic propaganda in Palestinian schools, and much else.  This November, the second annual festival will feature films about the Ukrainian famine, Judeophobia, the left-wing bias of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the fate of Jews in Libya, the need for DDT in Africa, English-language rights in Quebec, the failings of Canadian health care, honor killings in North America, Czechoslovakia’s Velvet Revolution, and the Armenian genocide.

The organization’s biggest impact came last January, when Litwin planned a screening of Iranium, about Iran’s nuclear program.  The Iranian embassy complained, and the Library & Archives canceled the screening.  “I complained to the Minister of National Heritage and he got the film back on.  Then the next day, there were threats at the Archives and the film was canceled again.”  The cancellation made big news, and when the screening finally went ahead in February, the Library & Archives spent $15,000 on security.  “The Canadian government even sent a diplomatic note to Iran about the affair.”

Ottawa is far from the only city in North America where worthy but politically incorrect films stand little or no chance of being screened, whether in ordinary cinemas or art houses.  The story of FTFS shows how one determined person can change that, exposing his fellow citizens to vital ideas and information of which they might otherwise remain unaware.  What a boon for North American democracy if every major city on the continent had its own FTFS.

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  • Chezwick_mac

    As one who seeks the safety and comfort of anonymity when expressing my political opinions, I have nothing but the greatest respect for Litwin and those like him who have the courage to put their faces and names under their opinions and efforts.

    Litwin has put himself on the front-line of this epochal civilizational struggle. He deserves our respect.

  • tanstaafl

    Don't forget "The Stoning of Soraya M.". It is available on Netflix.

  • Questions

    And Marc Forster's 2007 film, "The Kite Runner."

  • Michael

    I have a great respect for Litwin and the people like him.Fred,I advice you to screen "The Angry Harvest"(Dir.A.Holland)It is the best film ever about anti-Semitic virus role in human DNA mutation.

  • xlent

    "Not without my daughter" is also a very compelling,"older" movie. It shine a light on the truth about all islam.

    • Dennis

      Very good example…Sally Field as the mother whose husband runs off with the kid.
      Once you've seen it, you'll never look at all those old burqa-babes the same way again.

  • aspacia

    I own three of these movies and have viewed the rest, except Angry Harvest. Most individuals I work with have zero idea about what most of the Muslim majority Middle-East claims and is doing. This is similar to preWWII and the UK's liberal left ridiculing Winny's warnings about Hitler.

  • SEAMYSTIC

    Mr. Fred Litwin, you have my Full Respect, for your dedicated activity. I hope some day we will meet. I have a "Ban Islam" petition at: http://www.petitiononline.com/MYSTIC/petition.htm

    GUARDIANS OF DEMOCRACY, ARISE!

    • Richard Brazo

      Good work, keep it up.
      Ottawa need more Man like you.
      Wen I speak the truth,people are telling me that I'm so brain wash by American.
      I tell them History tends to repeat itself,and they don't know wast happening around them.
      I tell them if Israel fall, we are all going to fall.