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FLOWERS ON A ONE-WAY STREET

Canada, 1968 (MIFF 1969, Programme E)

Director: Robin Spry

A group of young people in Toronto wanted their street closed to through traffic with its noise and fumes. The press tagged them as "hippies". The establishment, represented by Toronto City Council, doubtless called them many other things. At any rate, they opposed them, for the demand was unprecedented and the free movement of others might be interfered with.

But when you're young and visionary in a country whose national film organisation is also mainly young and visionary, you stand a fair chance— if your cause is just and your stand determined—of becoming either successful or world renowned or both.

This is a study of what happened when two generations squared up to each other across the gulf between Yorkville Avenue and City Hall, Toronto, The music is by Ravi Shankar and The Beatles. The battle is by an army seeking to preserve the known and the comfortable against a guerrilla band seeking new meanings. The message is by something called democracy.

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