A documentary about Francophone Acadians in southeastern New Brunswick, and their relationship to language. 40 years after Michel Brault’s Éloge du chiac, Marie Cadieux travels to Moncton, Shediac, Bouctouche and even France, meeting people committed to safeguarding and valuing the specific character of Chiac. Featuring animated clips from Acadieman, this film elicits laughter and some teeth-gnashing, but is above all thought-provoking.
This short documentary from The Grasslands Project zooms in on the Prairies' francophone minority. The southern Prairies are overwhelmingly anglophone, yet a strong and vibrant francophone population persists in the small rural communities that dot this landscape. Gravelbourg is considered the centre of French language and culture in the region, and this short film hears from the Fransaskois (a term combining French and Saskatchewan) on the challenges and future of their unique prairie culture.
Taking the form of a conversation between a young teacher at a French school in Moncton and her students, the film shows how hard it is for francophones to preserve their language in a society where English is everywhere and has been for centuries. In French with English subtitles.
A dramatized presentation of the work of the Maritime Marshland Rehabilitation Administration in the reclaiming of flooded agricultural regions along the Bay of Fundy. Through the account of a dike-keeper, the film describes the destruction that follows the breaking of long-neglected dikes during autumn rains and shows how M.M.R.A. engineers are cooperating with New Brunswick land-owners in the big task of keeping at bay the inundations of the sea.
This feature-length fiction, originally produced as a television miniseries and based on the novel Nuages sur les brûlés by Hervé Biron, explores the colonization of northern Quebec during the Depression-era 1930s. These historical dramas relive the toil, hardship and unexpected rewards of the pioneer. Folk singer Félix Leclerc appears in each episode. Part I: Encounters with the inhospitable wilderness while clearing a townsite. Part II: Struggles for leadership; log cabins are built and the women arrive. Part III: The dangers of frontier life: forest fire, accident, anxiety about bankruptcy, lack of tools, hard labour. Part IV: Big steps forward: the curé brings in teachers and is in turn presented with a new, though rough-hewn, church.
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 animated short is a take on the "As Seen on TV" commercials, or the K-Tel ads of yesteryear. In this parody version, the ad attempts to sell an electronic device that allows one to speak fluent, effortless French.
Please note that this film was produced in 1979 and reflects certain attitudes and thinking of its era. The last scene of the film includes negative stereotyping of Jews living in Quebec. These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now. While the film does not represent today’s views as perspectives of Canadians (and the NFB) have evolved and we have become more conscious regarding issues of discrimination and minority rights, the film is presented in its original version because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these stereotypes never existed.
This short animation tells the story of Saoussan, a young girl struggling to adjust to life in Canada after being uprooted from her wartorn homeland. She has come to seek a quieter and safer life, although memories of war and death linger, memories that are awakened when the children at her new school prepare for a scary Halloween. From Far Away speaks to the power within us all to adapt like Saoussan and to welcome a newcomer.
Part of the Talespinners collection, which uses vibrant animation to bring popular children’s stories from a wide range of cultural communities to the screen.
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.
This short documentary links family memories to the evolution of Acadian French. Bittersweet Blues reveals the dilemma that Acadians face: do they adopt normative French in order to be better understood, or proudly continue to use their own language, which reflects the colourful flavour of their own authentic culture?
This film was made as part of the Tremplin program, in collaboration with Radio-Canada.
Ages 16 to 17
Geography - Territory: Regional
History and Citizenship Education - Culture and Currents of Thought (1500-present)
Languages - English as a Second Language
A viewing of Part I would be helpful prior to viewing Part 2. Pre-teach the term “Chiac,” since it is the primary focus of both films. Debate the use of Chiac and the negative connotations that the language has today. Identify Chiac’s primary speakers and the problems that it presents for them. Discuss Acadieman as a form of literature. Comment on the author’s purpose for creating it.