In this installment of the Eye Witness series, we look at classrooms on rails, circa 1949. We visit Ontario forests north of Lake Superior, where children come from miles away to attend school in a school car. They receive a month's worth of homework at a time, to keep them busy until the next time the classroom comes around. In Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, we see a unique workshop that trains the physically-challenged as furniture makers and seamstresses, allowing them to earn a living and build self-reliance.
Sixty-six-year-old Ivy Granstrom jogs, skis, bowls, gardens and does carpentry work. Sometimes she walks into a wall. Due to insufficient care at birth, she enjoys only 4.5% vision, but she doesn't let blindness interfere with her life. She practises the art of "mind over eyes."
This feature documentary is a portrait of Sam Sullivan, a quadriplegic city councillor running for Vancouver mayor. Blending the rough and tumble of the campaign with intimate moments from Sullivan's daily life, the film is an unflinching portrait of the one-of-a-kind politician.
This Oscar®-winning documentary presents Nadia, a 9-year-old girl with spina bifida. Her dream is to attend a regular school, even though she knows other kids will tease her. Wise for her young age, Nadia simply decides that she'll "find a way to deal with it." Despite having to overcome many obstacles, Nadia's got spunk and makes it clear she's not looking for sympathy. This film is part of the Children of Canada series.
Art and activism are the starting point for a funny and intimate portrait of five surprising individuals with diverse disabilities. Packed with humour and raw energy, this film follows the gang of five from B.C. to Nova Scotia as they create and present their own images of their disabilities.
This feature-length documentary looks at Stephen O'Keefe, a deaf, stand-up comedian. Faced with the usual challenges that life presents - marriage, children and career - Stephen works extra hard just to be able to hear (with the aid of a cochlear implant) and communicate with those around him. While many hearing-impaired people find life isolating, Stephen embraces the spotlight and chooses to step forward and entertain people.
This feature documentary is a portrait of Luke Melchior (1973-2021) who, at 26, had already lived longer than most people with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a progressive wasting of the muscles. Knowing his life would be relatively short had made Luke feel an urgency about making a lasting contribution. Living independently, with the help of 3 homecare workers, he ran a web-based business selling outdoor gear, and chaired the board of the Disability Resource Centre in Victoria, BC, where he was a passionate advocate for the rights of the disabled.
Bearing Witness consists of 3 films, each approximately one hour long, on people with life-threatening illnesses. The series also profiles Jocelyn Morton, who died of liver cancer at 44, and Robert Coley-Donohue, who died of ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease) at age 74.
Big Liz Brings Home 12 000 Happy Canadians: Canadian soldiers return home from Europe on the S.S. Queen Elizabeth. Troop Carrier to Airliner: Military aircraft are converted for use as commercial airplanes. B.C. Salmon Run: Commercial salmon fishing and processing in British Columbia is shown. Vets Regain Efficiency with Artificial Limbs: Rehabilitation programs for Canadian veterans allow them to become proficient in the use of artificial limbs. Students Produce Art China in New Industry: In Woodstock, Ontario, high school students participate in local ceramic-ware production.
This short documentary is a quirky ride into the world of Duncan McKinlay, a man with Tourette Syndrome. At 7 he noticed what he called a devil in his head that made his life hell. In his teens, it wasn't a question of whether to kill himself, but when. At 19, when he was finally diagnosed, Duncan made researching TS his life path. He's come to understand that his strange ticks are release triggers for the high energy charging through him. At 27 he's a virtuoso at channelling this energy. He's just finished a doctorate in psychology. He's in nationwide demand for his workshops that enlighten and boost the spirits of the 100,000 across Canada who have Tourette's.
This installment of the Eye Witness series focuses on Indigenous children at Fort Simpson; a miniature naval battle between radio-operated vessels attended by the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets in Montreal; a drive-in theatre near Ottawa used to provide church services to passing motorists; and how Toronto's subway system is starting to take shape.
This short film from 1958 compiles 3 short reportages on different ways kids are schooled in remote areas. To School by Boat follows children of isolated fishing hamlets along a stretch of British Columbia coastline as they travel to school by sea-going bus. In Classroom on Rails, we hop along a railway coach that brings school to children in a logging area of northern Ontario. Northern Schooldays introduces us to First Nations children educated in a residential school in Moose Factory.
Please note that this film was produced in 1958 and reflects the attitudes and thinking of its era. To modern audiences, parts of the film may be perceived as offensive, but it must be seen as a cultural product of the era in which it was produced. The perspectives of Canadians (and the NFB) have evolved and become more conscious of Indigenous rights, realities and points of view since the making of the film. Through its rich collection of Indigenous-made films, available at Indigenous Cinema, the NFB continues to strive to challenge stereotypes about Indigenous people and accurately depict the diverse experiences of Indigenous communities.
This short documentary depicts the return of Canadian WWII veterans to civilian life, including those who, because of war injuries or lack of training, require special treatment or courses before taking on jobs. Throughout the program, emphasis is laid on individual adjustment to normal peacetime life and work. Part of the Canada Carries On series.