This feature-length documentary tells the incredible story of Ernest Dufault, a.k.a. Will James, a French-Canadian man who became one of the most legendary cowboys of the American West. For over 30 years, as he went from cattle rustler to ex-convict, he managed to keep his secret. And when he took up the pen, he became a Hollywood legend. Watch this compelling exploration of the powerful attraction the West still holds for young adventurers.
Part documentary, part drama, this film presents the life and work of Jack Kerouac, an American writer with Québec roots who became one of the most important spokesmen for his generation. Intercut with archival footage, photographs and interviews, this film takes apart the heroic myth and even returns to the childhood of the author whose life and work contributed greatly to the cultural, sexual and social revolution of the 1960s.
This short documentary chronicles the Cirque du Soleil’s 1988 United States tour. As the fledgling Quebec circus sets up its big top in New York City, where it garners rave reviews, circus artists discuss what it means to be a part of this success and the price they pay for taking part in the American Dream.
Seeing Miami... is a cinematic allegory of the modern U.S. at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Gilles Groulx’s masterfully poetic montage aesthetic evokes Quebecers’ simultaneous aversion and attraction to the El Dorado that is Florida—both a giant nursing home and an ideal of progress, American style.
This feature-length Oscar®-nominated documentary focuses on Malcolm Lowry, author of one of the major novels of the 20th century, Under the Volcano. But while Lowry fought a winning battle with words, he lost his battle with alcohol. Shot on location in four countries, the film combines photographs, readings by Richard Burton from the novel and interviews with the people who loved and hated Lowry, to create a vivid portrait of the man.
This informal black-and-white portrait of Leonard Cohen shows him at age 30 on a visit to his hometown of Montreal, where the poet, novelist and songwriter comes "to renew his neurotic affiliations." He reads his poetry to an enthusiastic crowd, strolls the streets of the city, relaxes in this three-dollar-a-night hotel room and even takes a bath.
Farley Mowat has sold more books than any other Canadian writer – 10 million copies in 22 languages in 50 countries. In this short film, Mowat recalls some of his experiences that have found their way into his work.
In Margaret Atwood: Once in August, filmmaker Michael Rubbo attempts to discover what shapes the celebrated writer's fiction and what motivates her characters. As one of Canada's most distinguished poets and novelists, Atwood is also one of this country's most elusive literary figures.
This feature documentary is a portrait of Herbert Norman, the Canadian ambassador to Egypt who leapt to his death in 1957. During his remarkable career, Norman had been a trusted aide of General MacArthur in post-war Japan and later played a key role in the Suez crisis. But for years, a US Senate subcommittee probed his past while the FBI accumulated a huge file on him, refusing to accept an RCMP investigation that cleared him of being a communist spy. Interviews with key players and dramatizations help reconstruct Herbert Norman's life.
This feature documentary by Jacques Godbout retraces the life of Hubert Aquin, one of Quebec's most brilliant writers. The film revolves around 2 episodes in Aquin's life: the dramatic events leading up to the publication of his first novel, and the anguish of the months preceding his suicide. (Aquin ended his life in 1977.) An unusual montage technique intercuts excerpts from a feature film in which he was the lead actor with the recollections of people who knew him well.
This introspective short animation takes place In the village of Carcross, in the Tagish First Nation. Neighbourhood pillar Grandma Kay tell the local children the tale of how Crow brought fire to people. As the story unfolds, we also meet 12-year-old Tish, an introspective, talented girl who feels drawn to the elder. Here, past and present blend, myth and reality meet, and the metaphor of fire infuses all in a location that lies at the heart of this Native community’s spiritual and cultural memory.
This feature documentary studies the automobile and its pervasive effect on the history of North America. Focusing on the Ford dynasty, from the original Henry car through to Henry II, the film demonstrates how society has adapted to fit the needs of the automobile.
Ages 14 to 17
Arts Education - Visual Arts
Geography - Territory: Agricultural
Languages - English as a Second Language
Social Studies - Social History