This feature-length documentary focuses on four individuals who have lived through painful and horrific events but have managed to find the ability to forgive. Lesley Parrott, Anne Marie Hagan, Alan McBride, and Reverend Julie Nicholson have all lost family members through violent crimes and are trying to absorb, cope with, and move past it. In a world wracked by increasing violence and horror, the film brings hope that there are other possibilities beyond blind revenge; that in forgiving others we can set ourselves free.
One year after the tragedy that took the lives of fourteen female students, Montreal’s École Polytechnique has returned to something resembling normalcy. Nathalie Provost is a survivor of the shooting at the engineering school. Today, with friends, she opens up. About the tragedy, about feminism. About racism and sexism. About the fact that society has difficulty accepting difference. And, above all, about life, which must go on beyond December 6.
Based on true facts, this short 1947 dramatization depicts the investigation led by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to catch the criminal who murdered a salesman from Regina, Saskatchewan.
This feature documentary profiles four residents of the Brockville Mental Health Centre, a forensic psychiatric hospital for people who have committed violent crimes. Four patients—two men and two women—struggle to gain control over their lives so they can return to a society that often fears and demonizes them. Shrouded in stigma, institutions like this one are places into which patients disappear from public view for years.
Four-time Emmy winner John Kastner was granted unprecedented access to the Brockville facility for 18 months, allowing 46 patients and 75 staff to share their experiences with stunning frankness.
For more background information on this film, please visit the NFB.ca blog.
Directed by John Kastner, this feature documentary about violence, mental illness, and the rights of victims tells the story of a troubled young man who stabbed a complete stranger 6 times in a crowded shopping mall while gripped by psychosis. Twelve years later, his victim, who miraculously survived, is terrified to learn that he’s out, living in the community under supervision. He’s applying for an absolute discharge, and if he succeeds, he’ll no longer be required to take the anti-psychotic drugs that control his mental illness. With unprecedented access to the patient, the victim, and the mental institution, the film looks at both sides of the debate and puts a human face on the complex ethical issues raised.
This gripping documentary takes a powerful look at the lives of people with substance use disorder in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Filmmaker Veronica Alice Mannix follows Constable Al Arsenault and six other police officers on their daily beat, documenting their unique relationships with people who speak candidly about their painful past experiences, their drug addiction, and life on the street.
This feature film documents the rape and eventual suicide of Suzanne, a nurse whose physical and emotional health deteriorates beyond repair as a result of the violence inflicted on her. Images of ritual and mass rape reinforce the horror of this act of domination. In this docudrama drawn from case histories, the filmmaker explores social attitudes that cause women to feel guilty for being raped. It touches upon the physical, emotional, spiritual and legal aspects of this crime.
Acclaimed Métis filmmaker Christine Welsh brings us a compelling documentary that puts a human face on a national tragedy – the epidemic of missing or murdered Indigenous women in Canada. The film takes a journey into the heart of Indigenous women's experience, from Vancouver's skid row, down the Highway of Tears in northern BC, and on to Saskatoon, where the murders and disappearances of these women remain unsolved.
Joe Faber, imprisoned at the age of nineteen on a charge of theft with violence, learns a trade and earns his parole half-way through his sentence. Through the John Howard Society he finds a job in a machine shop and all goes well until he is suddenly confronted by the man he had robbed. He accuses Joe of being an escaped convict and, discouraged, Joe quits his job. Fortunately, with the support of the John Howard Society and his employer he is able to overcome this setback and return to his new life.
With candor, humour and courage, a group of African-Canadian women challenge cultural taboos surrounding female sexuality and fight to take back ownership of their bodies. Combining her own journey with personal accounts from some of her radiant, endearing friends, co-director Habibata Ouarme explores the phenomenon of female genital mutilation and the road to individual and collective healing, both in Africa and in Canada.
The NFB's 31st Oscar®-nominated film.
This film is a revealing portrait of a tough cop with a big heart. Sergeant Bernie "Whistling" Smith walks the beat on Vancouver's Eastside, the hangout of petty criminals, down-and-outs and a variety of characters. His policing is unorthodox. To many drug users, petty thieves and prostitutes in this economically depressed area he is more than the iron hand of the law, he is also a counsellor and a friend.
In To Kill a Tiger, Ranjit, a farmer in Jharkhand, India, takes on the fight of his life when he demands justice for his 13-year-old daughter, the survivor of sexual assault. In India, where a rape is reported every 20 minutes and conviction rates are less than 30 percent, Ranjit’s decision to support his daughter is virtually unheard of, and his journey unprecedented.