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.
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.
A 2001 documentary about the dangers of pesticides used by potato farmers in Prince Edward Island. Filmmaker Sylvie Dauphinais made this documentary to issue a wake-up call about an environmental crisis that put the ill, the elderly and the young at great risk. Includes some subtitles.
This documentary celebrates the vibrant culture and tenacious struggle of the Canadian Gypsy and introduces a new generation of Roma who claim their roots with pride. They call themselves by their rightful name, the Roma. Almost 80,000 call Canada home. Meet Julia Lovell, a passionate defender of Roma human rights, whose father is slowly gaining the confidence to reveal his heritage; and Karen Gray Boothroyd, a flamenco dancer just beginning to reclaim her Gypsy roots.
This documentary presents two Canadian women of Asian descent who are contemplating eyelid surgery. Maria and Sharon, of Philippino and Korean heritage respectively, believe their looks--specifically their eyes--get in the way of how people see them. Layering their stories with pop culture references to beauty icons and supermodels, filmmaker Ann Shin looks at the pain that lies deep behind the desire for plastic surgery.
This documentary from Min Sook Lee (Tiger Spirit) follows a poverty-stricken father from Central Mexico, along with several of his countrymen, as they make their annual migration to southern Ontario to pick tomatoes. For 8 months a year, the town's population absorbs 4,000 migrant workers who toil under conditions, and for wages, that no local would accept. Yet despite a fear of repercussions, the workers voice their desire for dignity and respect.
This informal black-and-white portrait of Leonard Cohen shows him at age 30 on a visit to his hometown of Montreal, where the poet, novelist and songwriter comes "to renew his neurotic affiliations." He reads his poetry to an enthusiastic crowd, strolls the streets of the city, relaxes in this three-dollar-a-night hotel room and even takes a bath.
A blend of drama and documentary, this film follows several people caught up in the turmoil of the modern world. The drama centres on a woman who has burned out and who holds up her own despair – and her attempts to rebuild her life – as a mirror to the rest of us. With a blend of gravity and humour, Sylvie Groulx's film shows the absurdity of a society dedicated to the cult of speed at all costs.
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.
Anne Marie Nakagawa's documentary examines what it means to have a background of mixed ancestries that cannot be easily categorized. By focusing on 7 Canadians who have one parent from a European background and one of a visible minority, she attempts to get at the root of what it means to be multi-ethnic in a world that wants each person to fit into a single category.
Finding a satisfactory frame of reference in our 'multicultural utopia' turns out to be more complex than one might think. Between: Living in the Hyphen offers a provocative glimpse of what the future holds: a departure from hyphenated names towards a celebration of fluidity and being mixed.
This documentary follows the migration of thousands of young Quebecers as they travel to British Columbia to harvest fruit in the lush Okanagan Valley. The camera follows several spirited youth into the orchards for seven weeks. As the rain sets in, reality unfolds: it's cold, the cherry crop is late, and money is short. But as they make friends and enjoy their independence, the promise of adventure is realized. Although their work is integral to the local economy, the youth find that the experience is not just about making money. It's about awareness, self-discovery and exploring the world.
Ages 15 to 17
Arts Education - Music
Diversity - Identity
Geography - Territory: Agricultural
Health/Personal Development - Healthy Eating, Nutrition
Discuss film’s artistic values in music and photography. Discuss the ways the mother sustains her identity, including social life, behaviour, attitudes. Students write essays describing the ways they reinforce their own identities. Discuss how farm experience affects migrant Mexicans. What is status of international migrant workers in Canada? Does film romanticize life on the farm? Students write essay on any aspects of this situation that they would treat differently if they remade film.