This feature-length film about poverty in Montreal is set against a soundtrack that includes rap, blues, rock, and country and western music. The film deals with the universal themes of hunger, hope and love and is named after an actual Montreal restaurant that's been serving those in need for over 25 years. In French with English subtitles.
This short documentary follows Jimmy Quinlan, one of the estimated 5000 men and women who lived in the streets and alleys of Montreal in the late 1970s. The film casts a harsh light on the realities of life on the street, as Jimmy battles his addictions; sobriety is a goal he's tried to achieve before and will probably have to try again. In and out of shelters, Jimmy's life is anything but stable, but his unique personality shines through in this affecting portrait.
This feature documentary is considered to be the forerunner of the NFB's Challenge for Change Program. The film offers in inside look at 3 weeks in the life of the Bailey family. Trouble with the police, begging for stale bread, and the birth of another child are just some of the issues they face. Through it all, the father tries to explain his family's predicament. Although filmed in Montreal, the film offers an anatomy of poverty as it occurs throughout North America.
This gripping documentary takes a powerful look at the lives of people with substance use disorder in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Filmmaker Veronica Alice Mannix follows Constable Al Arsenault and six other police officers on their daily beat, documenting their unique relationships with people who speak candidly about their painful past experiences, their drug addiction, and life on the street.
This musical documentary by Serge Giguère focuses on Gilles Garand, a passionate promoter of Quebec’s heritage and an ardent champion of workers’ rights. Garand is a lively figure—a harmonica and accordion player, a CNTU servicing representative, and an organizer of La Grande Rencontre. Filmed in Montreal, Quebec City, and France, the film offers a rare opportunity to hear the masters of Quebec traditional music, Aldor Morin and Philippe Bruneau, who are featured at La Grande Rencontre. In French with English subtitles.
This documentary is an intimate portrait of popular French singer-songwriter Gilles Vigneault and how he helped revitalize Quebec musical culture. Vigneault shows a different side of himself as he discusses some of the themes he explores in songs like his international hit “Mon Pays.”
This short documentary focuses on the children of alcoholics. In the relaxed environment of a mountain campsite, a group of young people discuss their anger and frustration, and talk about their struggle to cope with the problems created by their parents' drinking. By sharing their experiences, they open a door for others like them. Aimed primarily at an audience of elementary school children and older, this film provides an excellent vehicle for generating discussion about alcohol abuse and the family.
Tahani Rached’s powerful documentary enters the doors of an AIDS clinic in Montreal. We meet a group of dedicated doctors struggling to provide health care to their patients. This 1994 film explores legal and ethical problems surrounding HIV/AIDS and the struggle against fear, rumours and prejudice. It is still relevant today. In French with English subtitles.
This short documentary highlights one of the biannual dinners at Club Prosper Montagné, a leading international gastronomic society. While elaborate dishes are served with great pomp, we meet Québec’s Chef of the year Marcel Kretz, who is coordinating the feast from the kitchen of Hotel La Sapinière, in the Laurentians.
At the age of 5, Hannah Taylor spotted her first homeless person in the back alleys of Winnipeg. This experience not only troubled her, but it drove her to do nothing less than change the world. The Ladybug Foundation, the charity Hannah helped establish, has raised over a million dollars to date. With her huge heart and can-do attitude, she preaches a simple message of "Share a little of what you have and always care about others." As this short documentary proves, we all have a lot to learn from Hannah's story.
Ages 14 to 16
Family Studies/Home Economics - Family Diversity and Challenges
An excellent starting point for an activity outside the class as part of a volunteer effort. Students can be asked to find their own community group that they would like to work with for a day. After their volunteer day is complete, each student can then report to the class on their experience. This will make for a good awareness-raising exercise, but also a concrete introduction to the concept of civic responsibility.