This feature documentary profiles 12 Canadian women who entered the male-dominated world of munitions factories and farm labour during World War I. In 1994, aged 86 to 101, these women recall their wartime work experiences and the ways in which their commitment and determination helped lead the way to postwar social changes for women.
In this short film, a young woman visits the Vimy Memorial to make a charcoal imprint of the engraved name of her great-grandfather who was lost in battle. She brings with her a notebook of sketches and diary entries that he made during his preparation for battle. The sketches transform into colourized archive footage and take us back in time to revisit the daily lives of the Canadian Corps soldiers.This project marks the first time the NFB has colourized its own archives for a film project.
This silent short film from 1918 demonstrates the devastating effects of shelling. Firemen, soldiers and civilians fight several fires in a village, brick buildings are reduced to rubble, and a water tank in a factory is totally destroyed.
This 1964 documentary returns to the battlefields where over 100,000 Canadian soldiers lost their lives in the First and Second World Wars. The film also visits cemeteries where servicemen are buried. Filmed from Hong Kong to Sicily, this documentary is designed to show Canadians places they have reason to know but may not be able to visit. Produced for the Canadian Department of Veteran Affairs by the renowned documentary filmmaker Donald Brittain.
Canada’s role in the Allied Forces during the conflict is explored in this film, showing the brutal realities of trench warfare experienced by Canadian troops. These years of enemy bombings and shooting, left some 60, 000 soldiers dead.
In this short documentary, we see Marshal Joffre, accompanied by several French generals, visit the Canadian and British trenches. We also see King George V as he reviews the British troops as they train, while the Prince of Wales and General Currie review the honour guard. The mayor of Cambrai visits Canadian troops on the front.
This short film from 1918 shows various types of footage involving aircraft. An aircraft moves down the runway and takes off. Three planes in formation are seen from the air. Viewed from the cockpit, a pilot is at the controls. A hydroplane gets ready to land in a British port. Seen from the air, bombs fall on the battlefield. An enemy plane is pursued by fire from an anti-aircraft battery, while another spirals down and crashes on the ground. Canadian aviators pose proudly for the camera while an American crew attaches bombs to an aircraft.
This feature-length film, based on Margaret MacMillan's acclaimed book of the same name, takes us inside the most ambitious peace talks in history. Revisiting the event with a vivid sense of narrative, the film evokes a pivotal moment when peace seemed possible, and reflects on the hard-learned lessons of history.
This third short film on the Battle of Arras shows artillery fire, troop movements and several explosions on the battlefield. German prisoners can also be seen in the trenches, as well as enemy bombs falling on the town of Arras. A classic World War One film.
This film has been created with rare silent archival footage from the NFB, showing Sir Arthur Currie, commander of the Canadian Corps, at work planning a battle in the company of his officers. Images and dialogue by actors have been skilfully interwoven with the hundred-year-old footage, which has been colourized and had sound added. The resulting film dramatizes the weight of Currie’s responsibilities and the dilemma he faced in whether or not to commit his men to one of the most perilous but strategically critical operations of the war. The success at crossing the Canal du Nord and the capture of Cambrai forced the Germans into retreat and hastened the end of the conflict.
This short documentary looks at Governor General Georges Vanier: his military service in two world wars, his diplomatic service between the wars and his investiture as Canada's 19th Governor General.
This feature documentary profiles poet John McCrae, from his childhood in Ontario to his years in medicine at McGill University and the WWI battlefields of Belgium, where he cared for wounded soldiers. Generations of schoolchildren have recited McCrae’s iconic poem “In Flanders Fields,” but McCrae and Alexis Helmer—the young man whose death inspired the poem—have faded from memory. This film seeks to revive their stories through a vivid portrait of a great man in Canadian history.