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Produced by


Produced with the financial help of

SODEC Soci?t? de d?veloppement des entreprises culturelles ? Qu?bec (Programme d'aide aux jeunes cr?ateurs)

Canadian Television Fund created by the Government of Canada and the Canadian Cable Industry - Telefilm Canada : Equity Investment Program

Qu?bec Film and Television Tax Credit - Gestion SODEC

Government of Canada The Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit

Rogers Documentary Fund

and the collaboration of

The Canada Council : Media Arts

CBC Newsworld

CFCF 12 Montreal


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Mrs. Levy : Mrs. Levy is Warshaw’s platinum-haired, kimono-wearing matriarch. Born Helen Florkevitch, she inherited the store from her parents, immigrants who had operated a fruit and vegetable pushcart in their native Poland. Helen has worked in the store since she was a young girl, when she filled out order forms and wrote cheques for her parents, who couldn’t read or write. Now in her seventies, Mrs. Levy ranned the store and worked there every day, from early morning to evening.

Rosie :
Rosie had never strayed very far outside her Italian neighbourhood until she got a job as a cashier at Warshaw. Full of charisma and vitality, the red-haired Rosie practically jumps off the screen. She is the mother hen of her group of cashiers, but questions how long she wants to stay at the job.

Susy :
Susy is the gentle cashier whose parents moved to Portugal. When her mother pays her a surprise visit in the store, she realises how much she misses her family.

Sandra :
Sandra is the sassy cashier with a devilish twinkle in her eyes. Completely boy-crazy, she doesn’t mind speeding through her work if it means more time to flirt.

Elda :
Elda is the cashier who is dating Anthony, the butcher. A solid young woman with aspirations for law school. She and Rosie are inseparable.

Spiros :
Spiros is the touching 61-year-old vegetable stocker at Warshaw. He has worked at the store for 30 years, since he came to Canada from Greece. He has a small wrinkled face, thinning white hair and steely black eyes. Spiros speaks a language of his own: broken, full of metaphors, digressions, and flatteries to pretty women. Spiros himself is a metaphor for Warshaw: older and wrinkled, but full of energy and character. He dreams of one day winning the lottery.


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Festival Images du nouveau monde 1999 (Qu?bec city)

Statement of intent

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Short summary

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Warshaw on the Main is a slice-of-life film about the people who inhabit Warshaw, the unusual supermarket-turned-import-bazar on boulevard St-Laurent. Run by its founding family, Warshaw has been a neighbourhood stronghold since the thirties and became a symbol of the Main, one of Montreal’s most vital and culturally diverse areas. It is its own microcosm, defying every supermarket rule of thumb, except the one which said customers should feel the human touch.

Warshaw on the Main
is about the people of this universe. It is about Mrs. Levy, the platinum-haired 70 year-old who runs the daily store operations, Spiros, the gregarious Greek vegetable stocker-cum-philosopher who has worked at the store since he came to Canada 30 years ago, and Rosie, Elda, Susy, and Sandra, the four young cashiers who hold all the seniority in the cash department. Funny and often touching, it is the people who make this story come alive.

Warshaw on the Main
, a first documentary by Tally Abecassis, was filmed at Warshaw over the course of a year with a hand-held camera. Warshaw closed in December 2002.