The International Ox Pull, highlight of the Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, annual fair, is a holdover from the pioneer past when oxen cleared the land and tilled the soil. These beasts of burden have lost none of their pulling power, as demonstrated when they drag tons of weight loaded on sleds (the winner pulls up to 6 tons!). Competing teams come from various parts of the Maritimes and the Northeastern United States.
This short documentary offers a humorous look at horse-pulling contests in Ontario and the people who prepare for them. We travel from the farm to the contest, where excitement runs high and the quips do not lack in local colour. Which of these magnificent creatures will be able to pull the heaviest load and win the prize?
This epic drama looks at the opening of the Canadian West and the drought that led to the Depression in the Thirties. It is the saga of a family who left Eastern Canada to stake their future in the Prairies. Principle roles are played by Frances Hyland and James Douglas.
For more background information about this film, please visit the NFB.ca blog.
Filmed at the Wing Fong Farm in Ontario, this documentary follows the tilling, planting and harvesting of Asian vegetables destined for Chinese markets and restaurants. On 80 acres of land, Lau King-Fai, her son and a half-dozen migrant Mexican workers care for the plants. For Yeung Kwan, her son, the farm represents personal and financial independence. For his mother, it is an oasis of peace. For the Mexican workers, it provides jobs that help support their children back home.
This film illustrates the struggles of Canadian prairies women to achieve a more just and humane society within the farm movement and at large. During the early 1900s, women on the prairies looked for ways to overcome their isolation. Out of the resulting farm women's organizations grew a group of women possessing remarkable intellectual abilities, social and cultural awareness, and advanced worldviews.
A portrait of a small Ontario town, this film introduces its audience to the people of Holstein by filming them in the old-fashioned general store, the blacksmith's shop and the town granary. Old-time residents reminisce, while old-fashioned sleighs travel down the main road bordered by beautiful old frame houses.
This short documentary illustrates rural French Canadian life in the early 1940s. The film follows Alexis Tremblay and his family through the busy autumn days as they bring in the harvest and help with bread baking and soap making. Winter sees the children revelling in outdoor sports while the women are busy with their weaving, and, with the coming of spring young and old alike repair to the fields once more to plough the earth in preparation for another season of varied crops. One of the first NFB films to be produced, directed, written and shot by women.
The followers of religious leader Jacob Hutter live in farm communities, devoutly holding to the rules their founder laid down four centuries ago. Through the kindness of a Hutterite colony in Alberta, this film, in black and white, was made inside the community and shows all aspects of the Hutterites' daily life.
Household effects and farm implements under the hammer. Here is the auctioneer's cajoling patter, the jostling crowd, pungent observations from one or two old-timers and, over all, the kindly curiosity of folks who gather to see the end of a neighbour's life on the farm.
This documentary short is a visual portrait of “Prairie Sentinels,” the vertical grain elevators that once dotted the Canadian Prairies. Surveying an old diesel elevator’s day-to-day operations, this film is a simple, honest vignette on the distinctive wooden structures that would eventually become a symbol of the Prairie provinces.
This documentary follows the rodeo circuit as experienced by Canadian world-champion cowboy Kenny McLean. The film follows him on the stampede trail from Texas to Alberta, with scenes of bronco busting, calf roping and steer wrestling. It is what he does for a living, but his real life is with his wife and infant son on his ranch in British Columbia.