Streetcar from Zanzibar

Streetcar from Zanzibar

Release date:


Running time:

23 minutes


Available on DVD

Closed Captioned:


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In the bustling streets of Stone Town, on the island state of Zanzibar, most people never leave their neighborhood, but 21-year-old Rukia is preparing to cross the ocean and start a new life in Toronto. She is arranged to be married to a stranger in Canada. Her younger sister Shemsa helps her to prepare and seems convinced that Canada will bring prosperity. Across the map, deep in Toronto's winter, Nuru struggles to weather the boredom and cold she feels being locked in her new city. Two years new to Canada, she grew up in Zanzibar just streets away from Rukia and her sister. At 15, Nuru is in high school, hangs out at the mall, has ditched traditional garb for hip-hop gear and spends half her life in the Toronto Transit system. She yearns for the home she has left behind.

From the simple differences of cooking and clothes to the complicated rules of marriage and culture, this story studies the difference 13,000 kilometres make to two young Muslim women. It offers both a glimpse of a faraway world and a frank look at the dreams, expectations, discoveries and disappointments of those who want to call Canada home.

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