The NFB is committed to respecting your privacy

We use cookies to ensure that our site works efficiently, as well as for advertising purposes.

If you do not wish to have your information used in this way, you can modify your browser settings before continuing your visit.

Learn more
The Deserter

The Deserter

| 30 min

This short drama highlights the work of the Family Welfare Service in its compassionate tale of a husband who abandons his wife and children. Part of the Perspective series.

  • director
    Julian Biggs
  • producer
    Grant McLean
  • executive producer
    Grant McLean
  • script
    Thomas Farley
  • photography
    John Foster
  • sound
    Frank Orban
  • editing
    Dennis Sawyer
  • cast
    Sean Sullivan
    Les Rubie
    Charmion King


Enjoy the NFB experience on your favourite device. 


Ages 15 to 18

Civics/Citizenship - Citizen Responsibilities
Ethics and Religious Culture - Ethical Values
Family Studies/Home Economics - Parenting
Social Studies - Social Policies and Programs

Warnings: [Depictions of alcohol consumption, alcoholism]

A short film revolving around family, poverty and social programs in the mid-20th century. Ideal for research projects, essays and classroom discussions about economics, social programs and media depictions of family life in post-World War II Canada. The film begins with the narrator describing it as a story about “a man and his troubles.” Do you think this is an accurate assessment? Why or why not? The family in the film is presented as an average Canadian family; what does this say about how the “average Canadian” was imagined in media during the post-World-War II era? How does this depiction differ from your own experiences? Discuss the relationship between compassion and professionalism in the film. 

Embed this code on your site

Video player width

by Reset