The Days Before Christmas

This short documentary depicts Christmastime in Montreal. The milling crowds, department store Santas, Brink's messengers, kindergarten angels and boisterous nightclubs all combine to make a vivid portrait of the holidays.

From the playlist : The 1950s: Television and the Move to Montreal

What exactly goes on in a large Canadian city in the last few days before Christmas? Using this premise, an NFB film crew (featuring cameraman Michel Brault) was dispatched throughout Montreal just before Christmas 1957 to film what was happening, including the shopping frenzy and general merry making. The film would eventually be broadcast as part of the Candid Eye television series a year later and would be singled out as one of the best examples of direct cinema ever made at the NFB. The BBC would broadcast the film on Christmas Day 1959.

— Albert Ohayon

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


Features designed specifically for teachers

Learn more   Already subscribed? Sign in.


Terence Macartney-Filgate
Stanley Jackson
Wolf Koenig
Roman Kroitor
Wolf Koenig
executive producer
Tom Daly
Michel Brault
Georges Dufaux
Jack Locke
George Croll
Kay Shannon
Roman Kroitor
René Laporte
Wolf Koenig
sound editing
Kathleen Shannon


  • sixam

    “An excellent film to watch in anticipation of any holiday. However, I prefer the version without the commentary.” — sixam, 17 Apr 2014

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