This short documentary illustrates rural French Canadian life in the early 1940s. The film follows Alexis Tremblay and his family through the busy autumn days as they bring in the harvest and help with bread baking and soap making. Winter sees the children revelling in outdoor sports while the women are busy with their weaving, and, with the coming of spring young and old alike repair to the fields once more to plough the earth in preparation for another season of varied crops. One of the first NFB films to be produced, directed, written and shot by women.
The International Ox Pull, highlight of the Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, annual fair, is a holdover from the pioneer past when oxen cleared the land and tilled the soil. These beasts of burden have lost none of their pulling power, as demonstrated when they drag tons of weight loaded on sleds (the winner pulls up to 6 tons!). Competing teams come from various parts of the Maritimes and the Northeastern United States.
Filmed at the Wing Fong Farm in Ontario, this documentary follows the tilling, planting and harvesting of Asian vegetables destined for Chinese markets and restaurants. On 80 acres of land, Lau King-Fai, her son and a half-dozen migrant Mexican workers care for the plants. For Yeung Kwan, her son, the farm represents personal and financial independence. For his mother, it is an oasis of peace. For the Mexican workers, it provides jobs that help support their children back home.
This documentary short is a visual portrait of “Prairie Sentinels,” the vertical grain elevators that once dotted the Canadian Prairies. Surveying an old diesel elevator’s day-to-day operations, this film is a simple, honest vignette on the distinctive wooden structures that would eventually become a symbol of the Prairie provinces.
This short 1944 documentary offers a portrait of ranching in the foothills of southern Alberta. Exciting scenes of great herds being rounded up and moved to summer feeding grounds suggest the large scale on which this business is run, while segments on spraying, feeding and shipping illustrate some of the less dramatic jobs involved in bringing Canadian beef to the world's tables.
A portrait of a small Ontario town, this film introduces its audience to the people of Holstein by filming them in the old-fashioned general store, the blacksmith's shop and the town granary. Old-time residents reminisce, while old-fashioned sleighs travel down the main road bordered by beautiful old frame houses.
This short documentary depicts the harvesting of a large crop of potatoes in the St. John Valley, New Brunswick. The film documents the motor-driven machines that lay bare the rows of tubers, the crews of potato pickers at work in the fields as well as the sorting and grading of potatoes at a large Grand Falls warehouse.
This epic drama looks at the opening of the Canadian West and the drought that led to the Depression in the Thirties. It is the saga of a family who left Eastern Canada to stake their future in the Prairies. Principle roles are played by Frances Hyland and James Douglas.
For more background information about this film, please visit the NFB.ca blog.
This short film from WWII focuses on the increasingly important roles women occupy on the various war fronts. In England, their more active jobs include ferrying planes from factory to airfield and operating anti-aircraft guns. In Russia, they are fighting on the front lines as well as acting as parachute nurses, army doctors and technicians. In Canada women have joined active service auxiliaries, and thousands labour day and night in factories turning out the tools of war. From the Canada Carries On series.
The followers of religious leader Jacob Hutter live in farm communities, devoutly holding to the rules their founder laid down four centuries ago. Through the kindness of a Hutterite colony in Alberta, this film, in black and white, was made inside the community and shows all aspects of the Hutterites' daily life.
This short documentary profiles a community engaged in developing sustainable living methods, including food production and small-scale solar and wind technology, on a farm in Massachusetts in the 1970s. Well before sustainability was a mainstream concern, these prescient innovators attempted to create a vision of a greener, kinder world. "Think small," say the New Alchemists. "Look what thinking big has done."
This short documentary introduces a new breed of cowboy: one with a Master's degree in Business Administration. Although this new cowboy is gradually phasing out the old romantic image, in British Columbia's beautiful Nicola Valley a few cowpunchers still remember the good old days and, when they can, relive them. This is a look at the cowboy's life in transition as the demands of the marketplace streamline the cattle industry.