Coming up on Canadian TV!

Jay & Silent Bob do Degrassi and North of 60 returns on coming week’s TV
(CP) – “I got to make out with Caitlin Ryan. . .for hours!”
So boasted indie filmmaker Kevin Smith about his featured guest role on CTV’s Degrassi: The Next Generation.
Well, not quite hours but he does have one smooching scene with the dishy Stacie Mistysyn who plays Caitlin, but only because Caitlin was drunk and afterwards she. . .well, let’s not spoil it for both Smith and Degrassi fans. The first of three episodes airs Monday night.
Smith has made no secret of his longstanding adulation for the Degrassi franchise and in particular of a crush on Mistysyn, and so agreed last year to come to Canada, with Jason Mewes – his “hetero life-mate” and co-star in the popular Jay and Silent Bob movies – to basically play himself (albeit an unmarried version of Smith). Before the kiss, Caitlin, who is in a relationship with Joey (Pat Mastroianni), admits she thought Smith was gay.
In the story arc, they’re shooting a new film called Jay and Silent Bob Go Canadian, Eh? on location at Degrassi High, using students as extras, and Smith becomes involved in Caitlin’s personal relationship problems.
Smith was limited to acting. He offered to write and direct the episodes but he’s not Canadian and that would have put the series’ Telefilm funding at risk. Watch for another riotous cameo, though, by Alanis Morissette whose character makes out with Jay. Degrassi is the top-rated shows on Noggin, a U.S. cable channel aimed at the teen crowd.

Following its debut at last fall’s Toronto International Film Festival, Shake Hands With the Devil, filmmaker Peter Raymont’s searing documentary about Romeo Dallaire and his return to the site of the 1994 Rwanda massacre, pops up commercial-free on CBC’s The Passionate Eye next Monday night.
Lt.-Gen. Dallaire, as many viewers probably already know, was the first Canadian commander ever of a United Nations mission to Africa when he was sent to Rwanda in 1993. But the world body and its member nations left him twisting in the wind with no money, no military resources and no mandate with which to intervene in the looming tribal war between Hutus and Tutsis in which 800,000 people were slaughtered in a 100-day genocide.
As the hour-long film shows, blame was sprinkled around liberally, to include not just Dallaire but the Belgians, the Catholic Church and the West in general. The experience left Dallaire depressed, haunted and even suicidal but this film, based on his own bestselling book of the same title, takes him back to the site of his trauma to face his demons and hopefully lead to a catharsis.
Shake Hands With the Devil was on the playbill for this year’s Sundance festival and is scheduled for a home video release March 1.

North of 60 continues to do even better as an occasional TV movie-of-the-week than it did as a weekly series for six years.
The fifth movie in the franchise, airing on CBC on Sunday, is called Distant Drumming and has already gathered some honours at the American Indian Film Festival in California. Angry at the way “white justice” treated him in Calgary when he was falsely convicted of murder, Teevee (Dakota House) returns to Lynx River anxious to make some big changes in the law enforcement system.
But Michelle and Peter (Tina Keeper and Tom Jackson) are concerned: would a Dene police force be answerable to Canadian law or to Teevee as both the newly empowered chief and head of Lynx River Resources? Meanwhile, when an Edmonton tourist is murdered, Michelle gets some investigative competition when Teevee brings in another native officer and expert on aboriginal justice (Jennifer Podemski).

The man with the beard and cigar is recognized worldwide, and has been for nearly a half-century. But Fidel Castro, who rose up to became dictator of Cuba in 1959 and remains so today, also remains an enigma to all but a few.
Through the decades, he has confounded American presidents from Eisenhower to Bush, while surviving a CIA-backed invasion, countless assassination plots, an economic Embargo – even the collapse of his benefactor, the Soviet Union.
How has he done it?
Through interviews with relatives, childhood friends, fellow rebel leaders, Bay of Pigs veterans, human rights activists and journalists, American Experience: Fidel Castro paints a revealing portrait of an enduring leader. Produced by veteran filmmaker (and Cuba native) Adriana Bosch, this fine PBS documentary airs 9 p.m. Monday (check local listings).