Tensions ebb and flow during a busy morning in 1980 as impatient teenagers wait to use the girls' bathroom.
Directed by Sal Eigh
Products of economic uncertainty or political instability, most of the kids my dad’s age who were new to Toronto in the 1970s were - like other teenagers - just discovering fast food and mega malls, driving around in cars with boys, and lining up for concert tickets instead of food stamps... with the added bullshit of being caught between strict yet absent parents and the ‘loose’ social mores of North American adolescent society. Not quite Canadian, but not quite as ‘fresh’ as their parents, these kids weren’t exactly like the stoners, jocks, punks, disco queens, greasers, hoodrats, and activists that dominate pop culture depictions of the 1970s - but they were, like, totally there and they deserve to be shown in all the technicolour glory, big pants, big hair, big shoes, and big tunes of this pivotal era.
Growing up in downtown Toronto before it was any sort of enviable place to be, there was a time during my chaotic childhood when all I had of my family were faded old photos from bygone days. My dad (who came up in what was supposedly an even less cool Toronto than I did) was the star of most of these pictures. As I grew older, movies and shows like "Dazed and Confused" and "That 70s Show" spoke to me for this very reason.
But something was missing; what I never saw in my favourite old flicks and shows set in that era was, well, my dad - or anybody who looked like him, really. If it weren’t for those old photo albums, it would have been like an entire era had gone by without my dad, or my aunt, or my grandparents, or any of their friends. As I consumed more and more media, it began to hit me that according to movies and TV, people like me and my family didn’t exist in North America at all.
"The Girls of Bathroom B" was born out of an amalgamation of family coming-of-age stories dating back to the 70s and my first blatant experience with microaggressions. I was extremely surprised and pleased when the screenplay was selected for production by Kino Montreal in January of this year. Staying true to the Kino ethos, it was shot in a single day, then cut and screened within the course of three weeks. The entire cast and crew were volunteers.
Despite it being my first ever "professionally" produced project with a full cast and crew (the Kino shorts production program was sponsored by Telefilm), I'm extremely proud of all of the team's efforts and the diversity of talent and heritage, both in front and behind the camera.