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.
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.
In this two-minute short, Canadian officers and British generals welcome French President Raymond Poincarré in Valenciennes. The president reviews the troops, delivers a speech, and then all the soldiers gather on a square where a military band plays.
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.
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.
A film mingling documentary and dramatic elements to portray the effects of the threat of chemical and biological warfare on the contemporary mentality. The chemist who manufactures the secret weapons, the scientist who comments on them with complete detachment, the soldier of the First World War, killed by poison gas, who returns to life to discover the manner of his dying--all make their claims on the audience in an arresting, provocative way.
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.
A tribute to the combatants in the First World War, this film traces the conflict through the war diary and private letters of five Canadian soldiers and a nurse. Hearing them, the listener detects between the lines an unspoken horror censored by war and propriety.
The film mingles war footage, historical photos and readings of excerpts from the diary and letters. The directorial talent of Claude Guilmain breathes life into these 90-year-old documents and accompanying archival images so that we experience the human face and heart of the conflict.
For the educational sector, five documentary vignettes have been drawn from the film: Nurses at the Front, The Officer's Role, The Life of the Soldier, Faith and Hope and The Trenches, each with further information on its particular subject.
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.
Cavalry detachments come and go at a staging post, while in the background, men feed the horses. Various types of armoured vehicles travel along a country road. They are carrying provisions, soldiers and a heavy piece of metal. The armoured vehicles are also engaged in combat. From inside a bunker, a soldier fires on a tank with a machine gun.
A supply company transporting provisions and soldiers advances amid the ruins then along a country road. It then crosses the main square in a French town while a company on bikes goes by at a good clip. Soldiers move equipment in flooded trenches. On the battlefield, trains on a narrow-gauge track carry munitions, prisoners and casualties.