Lisa Bell stars in a scene from the movie "Stand!" The movie is a Canadian musical based on the stage musical "Strike!" (CNS photo/Eric Zachanowych, courtesy Danny Schur)

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Danny Schur, a Ukrainian Catholic from Canada, thought he knew all about the 1919 general strike that brought life in his native Winnipeg, Manitoba, to a standstill. But it took another Canadian — biracial director Robert Adetuyi — to get him to stretch his perspective. The result: A rousing stage musical, “Strike!” that premiered in 2005, has been transformed into the movie musical “Stand!” which had a successful run in Canada and is poised to play the film festival circuit in the United States after a coronavirus-induced halt last year. “The first phone call he has to me,” Schur said of Adetuyi, “in his gentle, learned way, he said, ‘I’m just sayin’, Dan, this is a pretty white story. Would you be opening to discovering some narrative that you haven’t put there?'” Schur did some digging. “I consider myself a decent historian,” he told Catholic News Service in a Jan. 4 phone interview from Winnipeg, but “I had not heard about the Oklahoman refugees. A lot of Canadians hadn’t. There was this great migration from about 1907 onward of Blacks to the north was not limited to the northern United States. Others came to Regina (Saskatchewan), and Winnipeg, and Edmonton (Alberta). In World War I, there was a regiment of all Blacks. It was blowing my mind.” Out went the Irish maid, in came Black maid Emma (Lisa Bell), with a couple of songs newly written for her character.

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