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“Bella Ciao!.. a poem to the notion that art and resistance nourish each other.”   – Adrian Mack, The Georgia Straight

Taran Kootenhayoo as Niki in Bella Ciao!

Vancouver’s most cosmopolitan street – Commercial Drive – is the site of Carolyn Combs’ ensemble drama, a film about home and displacement, isolation and solidarity. Set over the arc of one day, the film stars Constanza (Carmen Aguirre), a refugee who fled the coup against Salvador Allende in Chile, and now calls East Vancouver home. Bella Ciao! weaves the stories of her friends and neighbours – activists, artists, hustlers and coffee house habitués – to capture how traditions of solidarity renew across cultures and generations. Viva East Van!


“BELLA CIAO! is an urban tale set at the interface of the Latin American, Indigenous and Italian communities in my neighborhood. The work evolved slowly, and I was privileged to have the opportunity to collaborate with an exceptional ensemble cast (here). I am proud of their work and what we have accomplished.”

Director Carolyn Combs working on set

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