As I read the appeal from the Humanitarian Coalition when I opened my email this morning, it struck me for a number of reasons.  I live in Washington State where it rains a lot, but I cannot imagine having my home flooded up to the rooftop and having to carry what I could out on my head.  The resilience of people under such crises is incredible, with death around them, children in need, not knowing where the next comfort or food will be available.

What does this have to do with the documentary “Threads” you might wonder and why am I blogging on the crisis on this movie website?   This crisis is in Pakistan and not in Bangladesh where we are filming — however we are all connected, regardless of nationality, race or religion.  And seeing the scenes in Pakistan today reminds me of the resilient women with whom Surayia worked who, during the raging floods of 1988 in Bangladesh, preserved the tapestries on which they were working and brought them in pots on their heads – wading through the floods — into Dhaka.  Courage amidst despair, hope despite disaster.

I worked for CARE Canada in the early 1990s and thank them and all other organizations and individuals who are assisting in this crisis in Pakistan.  For those who can help the Pakistanis during this crisis in some way, let us be their threads of hope.

Over the next months, Len and I would like to share with you some of our experiences as new filmmakers.  Watch our blog for the ups and downs, the serendipity that we have experienced since we started this project and the joys of virtually meeting so many fine people connected with Surayia’s life.

How did we get into this, you ask?  It all started over a café conversation with a professor at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design – Lesley Armstrong  – who asked “What ever happened to that woman whose incredible tapestry was displayed during the exhibition of Bangladesh textiles you had in Halifax in 2005”?  We talked about our friend Surayia, how she had to give up her passion for creating art when her health failed, and how there was little documented about her fascinating life and art history.  Lesley looked me straight in the eye and said “You have to make a documentary about her.”  “I will find a filmmaker to make it,” I replied.  “No, you have to make it”.   And so began our journey…..

Let me introduce you to Lesley whose own artistry – handwoven drapery – was recently installed at the 32-storey TELUS Center in Toronto.


Are you a weaver?  If so, please let us know what interests you about this film, and what you would like to see in it.