ABOUT         CAST         DIRECTOR’S NOTES         CREW         PRESS

A Film By Carolyn Combs


Set at the intersection of the Italian, First Nations and Latin American communities in Vancouver’s East End, Bella Ciao! captures a tradition of resistance passing from one generation to the next. Lyrically shot, the story hinges on Constanza (Carmen Aguirre), a Chilean refugee and activist whose daily life is tested by health concerns her stressed-out daughter would rather not face. But that’s just one thread in this compassionate and heartfelt story that weaves together an Altmanesque carnival of characters – hustlers, restauranteurs, artists and coffee house consiglieri.


Carolyn Combs roots her work in a study of character, telling her stories with lyricism and a restrained use of precise musical motifs. Bella Ciao! is set in her own neighbourhood, Vancouver East,  known for its social diversity and community solidarity. Her first feature, Acts of Imagination (2006), also set in the ‘hood, premiered at Toronto International Film Festival and had its Asian Premiere at Busan International Film Festival. Her film, Small Currents (2010), has become a classic short, and is repeatedly shown on Canadian television.

Carolyn in discussion with the audience, Vancity Theatre, April 10, 2019

ABOUT         CAST         DIRECTOR’S NOTES         CREW         PRESS