Canada202340 minEnglishWorld PremiereDocumentary, History

Some family stories are so epic they demand telling. Some moments in history require the intimate and inside knowledge of community storytellers. The venerated Chinese Canadian filmmaker Keith Lock narrates the story of how his mother married his father in Australia, who was training with other Chinese Canadian veteran volunteers for the top secret suicide mission, Operation Oblivion. This incredible story is set against the backdrop of the Second World War, a time when Chinese Canadians could not vote, swim in pools, or hire white women for their businesses.

Though familiar with his family history, Lock wasn’t sure how to tell their story, since many of the participants had long passed. Motivated by the desire to tell it right, Lock’s documentary essay uses archival imagery (much previously unseen) to bring the history to light. In a previous film, The Dreaming House (Reel Asian 2005), Lock ruminated on seeing his father as an old man. This time, Lock celebrates his father, mother, and community of Chinese Canadian veterans as daring and vivacious badasses whose futures were yet to be written, in a tribute and record of this larger moment in Chinese Canadian history.

– Aram Siu Wai Collier

Directors Bio

Keith Lock

Keith Lock, Canada’s first Chinese Canadian filmmaker, works in experimental as well as dramatic and documentary films. Keith was the cinematographer for Michael Snow’s Two Sides to Every Story (1974), voted one of TIFF’s 150 Essential Works of Canadian cinema in 2017. His film, Everything Everywhere Again Alive, was selected as one of Jim Shedden’s 100 best Canadian films of all time and released on Blu-ray by Black Zero in 2021. In 2022, he was the inaugural recipient of Reel Asian’s trailblazing Fire Horse Award.



14 Nov, 2023 7:00 pm

Innis Town Hall


Open Captioned icon Wheelchair/Step-Free Seating Available icon
This screening is presented with open captions. Wheelchair spaces and step-free seating is available for this screening – click below to book accessible seats.

With Support From

Community Partner

Community Supporter

Long Time No See Collective


Join director Keith Lock and author and historian Arlene Chan as they further unpack the family and community history across eras and continents.

Arlene Chan

Arlene Chan is an author and award-winning Chinatown historian who brings the history, culture, and traditions of the Chinese in Toronto and Canada to life in her speaking engagements and books. Her essays have appeared in numerous publications, including the Signs That Define Toronto, What We Talk About When We Talk About Dumplings, Asian Canadian Voices, Toronto Star, Spacing Magazine, and The Canadian Encyclopedia.

You May Also Like...

Reel Ideas

Last fall, the DOC Institute invited creative producers to reimagine a documentary ecosystem that recognizes the needs of BIPOC producers with critically acclaimed projects, and published their thoughts in the “Creative Producer Think Tank Report.” A key point highlighted was producer/director relationships—listen as panelists delve into the critical and vital collaboration that underpins any successful film.

14 Nov. 4:00 pm

Sticker Xchange

12 Nov. 4:00 pm

Wee Asian

Be warmed by friendship and held by the depth of feelings in this collection of wholesome shorts for all ages in a relaxed screening environment. Stick around to participate in fun and simple art activities post-screening.

18 Nov. 11:00 am - 18 Nov. 3:00 pm

Open Tickets Cart