This feature documentary offers a shocking look at the living and working conditions of Haitian agricultural laborers in the Dominican Republic. Each year, some 20 000 workers cross the border to cut sugar cane, lured by promises of good money. Instead, they toil up to 14 hours per day and live in unhealthy, cramped camps without running water, electricity, medical or educational facilities.
This full-length documentary takes us to an unspoiled corner of southern Belize, where cacao farmer and father Eladio Pop manually works his plantation in the tradition of his Mayan ancestors: as a steward of the land. The film captures a year in the life of the Pop family as they struggle to preserve their values in a world that is dramatically changing around them. A lament for cultures lost, The Chocolate Farmer challenges our deeply held assumptions of progress.
This full-length documentary tells the story of modern Korea, a nation divided in half. The psychic scar shared by families divided during the Korean War in the 1950s is symbolized by the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) dividing communist North from capitalist South. Along this infamous border, filmmaker Min Sook Lee begins an emotion-charged journey into Korea’s broken heart, exploring the rhetoric and realism of reunification through the extraordinary stories of ordinary people. An eloquent tale of longing and hope,
This feature documentary is a biography of Dr. Norman Bethune, the Canadian doctor who served with the loyalists during the Spanish Civil War and with the North Chinese Army during the Sino-Japanese War. In Spain he pioneered the world's first mobile blood-transfusion service; in China his work behind battle lines to save the wounded has made him a legendary figure.
This documentary from 1980 depicts a factory community in China where over 6000 workers process, spin and weave raw cotton into 90 million yards of high-quality cloth per year. Also seen are the workers' residential, social, recreational and educational facilities, all located on factory property. The film presents an engrossing study of a lifestyle that is very different from that of the Western world.
Filmmaker Paul Émile d'Entremont's documentary presents Reema, a lively and sensitive young girl confronted with difficult questions about her identity. After spending the first 16 years of her life with her Canadian mother, Reema re-connects with her Iraqi father by spending 2 months with him in Jordan. On returning home to Nova Scotia, she realizes she will always have a double identity, and that it is both a burden and a treasure.
Filmmaker Karen Cho travels from Montreal to Vancouver to uncover stories from the last survivors of the Chinese Head Tax and Exclusion Act, a set of laws imposed to single out the Chinese as unwanted immigrants to Canada from 1885 to 1947. Through a combination of history, poetry and raw emotion, this documentary sheds light on an era that shaped the identity of generations.
The NFB's 63rd Oscar®-nominated film.
Shui-Bo Wang's feature documentary is a visual autobiography of an artist who grew up in China during the historic upheavals of the ‘60s, '70s and '80s. A rich collage of original artwork and family and archival photos presents a personal perspective on the turbulent Cultural Revolution and the years that followed. For Shui-Bo Wang and others of his generation, Tiananmen Square was the central symbol of the new China – a society to be based on equality and cooperation. This animated documentary artfully traces Shui-Bo's roots and his own life journey as he struggles to sort through ideology and arrive at truth.
This short documentary examines the role of corn in the lives of Indigenous peoples in the Americas. Before colonization, corn was widely used as a beverage, a food staple, an oil, and a ceremonial object. It was respected and revered as a critical part of creation. This film explores the powerful bond and spiritual relationship that continues to exist between people and corn.Combining interviews, dance, and song, The Gift captures the traditional, spiritual, economic, and political importance of this sacred plant.
This documentary introduces us to Mark Rowswell, a Canadian comedian virtually unknown in his own country who has an enormous following in mainland China, where he is known as Dashan.
The film provides a unique look at China through the eyes of a man who has become fully at home in Chinese culture—his appearances on national television have been known to draw up to 600 million viewers. It shows Rowswell performing, talking about his art and popularity, and discussing the West’s role in the development of the new China.
This feature-length documentary from 1974 takes viewers inside Fidel Castro's Cuba. A movie-making threesome hope that Fidel himself will star in their film. The unusual crew consists of former Newfoundland premier Joseph Smallwood, radio and TV owner Geoff Stirling and NFB film director Michael Rubbo. What happens while the crew awaits its star shows a good deal of the new Cuba, and also of the three Canadians who chose to film the island.
Ages 14 to 16
Civics/Citizenship - Human Rights
The teacher can ask students to do research to follow up on the situation of Haitian workers in the Dominican Republic. In-depth research should be suggested, since this film dates from 1987. It may be interesting to find out the current living conditions of these workers. Have they improved? Deteriorated? Have the governments of Haiti and the Dominican Republic resolved the situation?