À Pointe Saint-Charles, quartier populaire de Montréal, une clinique juridique vient s'ajouter à un vaste réseau de services communautaires, qui ancre dans le concret un certain refus de la «société d'exploitation» et le bouillon d'une «société nouvelle». Expérience passionnante, mais qui n'a rien de facile pour les avocats, confrontés avec une méthode et un langage qui ne s'apprennent pas à l'université. Service, éducation, animation, participation, telles sont les fonctions grâce auxquelles la Clinique juridique communautaire constitue un ferment d'évolution de la société ambiante et le creuset d'un citoyen nouveau.
The NFB's 31st Oscar®-nominated film.
This film is a revealing portrait of a tough cop with a big heart. Sergeant Bernie "Whistling" Smith walks the beat on Vancouver's Eastside, the hangout of petty criminals, down-and-outs and a variety of characters. His policing is unorthodox. To many drug users, petty thieves and prostitutes in this economically depressed area he is more than the iron hand of the law, he is also a counsellor and a friend.
This short, fiction film follows a young newspaper boy on his route in the crowded inner city. Set to a soundtrack of the blues, but with no words, we enter his gritty world of apartment buildings, rooming houses and dilapidated dwellings. At some doors he tosses his papers with neat precision, at others with deliberate carelessness. His interactions show the malice and kindness of his life, both given and received.
This feature documentary takes us to the heart of the Jane-Finch "Corridor" in the early 1980s. Covering six square blocks in Toronto's North York, the area readily evokes images of vandalism, high-density subsidized housing, racial tension, despair and crime. By focusing on the lives of several of the residents, many of them black or members of other visible minorities, the film provides a powerful view of a community that, contrary to its popular image, is working towards a more positive future.
In 1937, tens of thousands of Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent were exterminated by the Dominican army on the basis of anti-black racism. Fast-forward to 2013: the Dominican Republic’s Supreme Court stripped the citizenship of anyone with Haitian parents, retroactive to 1929, rendering more than 200,000 people stateless. Director Michèle Stephenson’s new documentary follows the grassroots campaign of a young attorney named Rosa Iris, as she challenges electoral corruption and fights to protect the right to citizenship for all people.
Celebrate Black Canadian cinema with the NFB. Explore our collection of films from Black filmmakers across Canada.
This documentary presents a before-and-after picture of people in a large-scale public housing project in Toronto. Due to a housing shortage, they were forced to live in squalid, dingy flats and ramshackle dwellings on a crowded street in Regent Park North; now they have access to new, modern housing developments designed to offer them privacy, light and space.
This short film is a series of vignettes of life in Saint-Henri, a Montreal working-class district, on the first day of school. From dawn to midnight, we take in the neighbourhood’s pulse: a mother fussing over children, a father's enforced idleness, teenage boys clowning, young lovers dallying - the unposed quality of daily life.
In the last forty years, Canada has seen a major population shift of Indigenous peoples to the urban centres like Toronto which has become home to the largest urban Indigenous population in the country (an estimated 65,000).
Today's urban Indigenous peoples (both those with a direct connection to land-based reservation life, and those who have always lived in cities) are developing an urban Indigenous culture. They are discovering ways to integrate important expressions of traditional culture into city life, including the tradition of the Elder: a person of great wisdom who dispenses advice, settles disputes, and acts as a model and arbitrator of acceptable behaviour.
Meet Vern Harper, Urban Elder, who walks the "Red Road" in a fast-paced, urban landscape. The camera follows Vern as he leads a sweat lodge purification ceremony, watches his 11-year-old daughter Cody at a classical ballet rehearsal, conducts a private healing ceremony, participates in a political march of 150,000 people, and counsels Indigenous prisoners at Warkworth Federal Prison.
In his own voice, Vern Harper tells the Urban Elder story of how he reaches into the past for his people's traditions, blending those old ways into the present so that the future can be a time of personal growth and spiritual strength.
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.
Directed by John Kastner, this feature documentary about violence, mental illness, and the rights of victims tells the story of a troubled young man who stabbed a complete stranger 6 times in a crowded shopping mall while gripped by psychosis. Twelve years later, his victim, who miraculously survived, is terrified to learn that he’s out, living in the community under supervision. He’s applying for an absolute discharge, and if he succeeds, he’ll no longer be required to take the anti-psychotic drugs that control his mental illness. With unprecedented access to the patient, the victim, and the mental institution, the film looks at both sides of the debate and puts a human face on the complex ethical issues raised.
Despite the overflowing prisons and billions of dollars spent by governments, drug trafficking is a bigger problem than ever. In an unending spiral, increasingly effective repression only makes drugs scarcer, thus driving up the cost, which in turn increases criminality and makes life less safe for ordinary citizens. After so many years of this war on drugs, many observers are calling for a cease-fire in the hope that legalizing drugs might be the solution.
Ages 16 to 18
Social Studies - Contemporary Issues
Social Studies - Law
Social Studies - Social Policies and Programs
The Point is both a teaching clinic and a community legal clinic—what advantages are there in having law students work as frontline caseworkers with low-income clients? Explain why trust is such a critical factor in the success of these legal clinics in priority neighbourhoods. What are the eligibility criteria for clients of community legal clinics? Find the closest community legal clinic in your area and explore which areas of the law they specialize in.