Open Secrets

This provocative documentary uncovers a lost chapter in Canadian military history: how the Armed Forces dealt with homosexual behaviour among soldiers, during and after World War II. More than 60 years later, a group of five veterans, barely adults when they enlisted, break the silence to talk about how homosexual behaviour "was even more unmentionable than cancer." Yet amidst the brutality of war, instances of sexual awakening among soldiers and officers were occuring. Initially, the Army overlooked it, but as the war advanced, they began to crack down: military tribunals, threats of imprisonment, discharge and public exposure. After the war, officers accused of homosexuality were discharged. Back home in Canada, reputations and careers were ruined. For the young men who had served their country with valour, this final chapter was often too much to bear. Based on the book Courting Homosexuals in the Military by Paul Jackson.

This film deals with mature subject matter. Viewer discretion is advised

Pedagogical evaluations and study guides are only available to CAMPUS subscribers.


Features designed specifically for teachers

Learn more   Already subscribed? Sign in.


José Torrealba
José Torrealba
Antoine Saad
José Torrealba
sound recording
David Finch
documentary script
José Torrealba
José Torrealba
Paul Jackson
Paul Jackson
sound editor
Marco Fania
original music
Roberto C. Lopez
sound re-recording
Serge Boivin
archival research
José Torrealba
Paul Jackson
Mahalia Verna
Germaine Ying Gee Wong
executive producer
Sally Bochner


  • gdhsk

    “It might be good to see, but then who can see the promo for it when it requires a system that is brought to you by the Yankee cunterations where profits rule and value is nothing!!!!” — gdhsk, 7 Jan 2013

  • petersfield

    “Great Film but oh so sad. We had conscription is England when I was 18. Of course some of the 18 years olds were Gay and we had a rough time they couldn`t see that we had skills and much to offer and that we culd be as brave as the next man. Thank God things are so much better and that there is more understanding. Let us hope that the church will follow in their understanding of gay men and women. David. Age 78. ” — petersfield, 29 Mar 2010

Discuss this film Please sign in to add your comment
Not a member ? Click here