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.
Claude Jutra's sweeping portrait of village life in 1940s Quebec has been called one of the greatest Canadian films of all time. Recalling a time when the local general store was the crossroads of life, the film illustrates the way a young boy sees the world and those closest to him – first through the eyes of a teenager, and later, as events change him, through the eyes of an adult. In French with English subtitles.
In this feature film, 7 elderly women find themselves stranded when their bus breaks down in the wilderness. With only their wits, memories and some roasted frogs' legs to sustain them, this remarkable group of strangers share their life stories and turn a potential crisis into a magical time of humour, spirit and camaraderie. Featuring non-professional actors and unscripted dialogue, this film dissolves the barrier between fiction and reality, weaving a heart-warming tale of friendship and courage.
This drama tells the harrowing story of an immigrant family in the New World. On arrival in Canada, their hopes for a better life were dashed when immigration officials refused to grant entry to their daughter. During a routine medical examination it was found that Kasia had contracted an infectious eye disease. She is separated from her family and sent back to Europe alone.
This short film from director Gerald Potterton (Heavy Metal) stars Buster Keaton in one of the last films of his long career. As "the railrodder", Keaton crosses Canada from east to west on a railway track speeder. True to Keaton's genre, the film is full of sight gags as our protagonist putt-putts his way to British Columbia. Not a word is spoken throughout, and Keaton is as spry and ingenious at fetching laughs as he was in the old days of the silent slapsticks.
For more background information about this film, visit the NFB.ca blog.
In this feature film, an engineer from Paris flies to Montreal (on Air Canada Flight YUL 871), partly on business, partly in search of parents displaced by World War II, and partly because of the prevailing restlessness of the age. He achieves little that is conclusive, but in the short time between his arrival and departure he has a love affair, enjoys a flight over Montreal and the Expo pavillions, and is adopted by a little girl.
For more background info on this film, visit the NFB.ca blog.
The setting for this drama is a logging community, focusing on a man who chooses the unfettered life and uncertain income of an itinerant bush worker, even though it means that his family lives poorly as a result. The film is a study of the effects on family life of isolation and deprivation. Features a wonderful performance from a young Margot Kidder.
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.
In this feature drama, a wife takes the courageous decision to leave her 5 children at home and accompany her husband on his yearly summer tour as an itinerant photographer. This despite housework, routine and 14 years of marriage having created a mutual indifference. They travel through a turn-of-the-century countryside of narrow lanes and old-time weddings, but most importantly, to an eventual rediscovery of each other.
This tongue-in-cheek feature is about the misadventures of two modern men in search of bliss: macho Alex, who receives the offer of a lifetime, and sincere Blue, who goes to extravagant lengths to find the perfect bride. Alex, thrown out of the house by his wife and abandoned by his girlfriend, falls prey to a mysterious woman and her unsettling, though potentially profitable, proposition. Blue, in his relentless search, has resorted to a catalogue for a mail-order bride. He has 90 days to make up his mind before her visa expires.
This film recreates the true story of Tom Sukanen, an eccentric Finnish immigrant who homesteaded in Saskatchewan in the 1920s and 1930s. Sukanen spent ten years building and moving overland a huge iron ship that was to carry him back to his native Finland. The ship never reached water.
Ages 14 to 16
Study Guide - Guide 1
Geography - Territory: Agricultural
Geography - Territory: Regional
History - The Depression Era
Social Studies - Social History
Class brainstorms general questions not answered in film, e.g., how did drought affect price of bread in cities? What percentage of farmers stayed? Small research teams answer questions and report. Form “family” groups in class who will develop individual identities and rationale for staying or leaving their Prairie farm. Families explain their justification to other families who think differently. Invite guest(s) to class to share memories, photos of Depression era.