Four Feet Up

Four Feet Up

                                Four Feet Up
| 46 min

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In this personal documentary, award-winning photographer and filmmaker Nance Ackerman invites us into the lives of a determined family for a profound experience of child poverty in one of the richest countries in the world. 20 years after the House of Commons promised to eliminate poverty among Canadian children, 8-year-old Isaiah is trying hard to grow up healthy, smart and well adjusted despite the odds stacked against him. Isaiah knows he's been categorized as "less fortunate," and his short life has seen more than his share of social workers, food banks and police interventions. His parents struggle to overcome a legacy of stereotypes, abuse and dysfunction. More than anything, they want Isaiah and his siblings to have access to opportunities they never had. Ackerman spent 2 years with Isaiah and his family. As her portrait of the family unfolds with the help of Isaiah's creative input, curiosity and zest for life, so do Ackerman's own feelings about the responsibilities of Canadians to raise all children as our best investment in the nation's future.

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Four Feet Up, Nance Ackerman, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

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  • writer
    Nance Ackerman
  • director
    Nance Ackerman
  • producer
    Annette Clarke
  • director of photography
    Christopher Ball
  • editor
    Nance Ackerman
    Roslyn Power
  • sound recordist
    Aram Kouyoumdjian
    Jamie Alexander Alcorn
  • additional photography
    Isaiah Justason Jackson
    Jason Buxton
    John Walker
    Katrina Swift
    Tim Wilson
  • additional sound recording
    Eva Madden
    John Rosborough
  • consulting editor
    Lawrence Jackman
  • production supervisor
    Patsy Coughran
  • assistant editor
    Trevor Schellinck
  • sound edit
    Paul Steffler
  • sound design
    Paul Steffler
  • original music writer
    Jamie Alexander Alcorn
    Nance Ackerman
  • original music performer
    Jamie Alexander Alcorn
    Nance Ackerman
  • music engineer
    Al Strickland
  • archival research
    Candice Desormeaux
    Katie McKay
  • still photography
    Isaiah Justason Jackson
    Nance Ackerman
  • online editor
    Steve Cook
  • re-recording
    Jean Paul Vialard
    Shelley Craig
  • transcription services
    Lisa Clarke
  • production coordinator
    Stephanie Coolen
    Vanessa Larsen
  • marketing
    Candice Desormeaux
    Susan Nosov
  • centre administrator
    John William Lutz
  • executive producer
    Kent Martin

  • kiddies_cat

    I just finished watching this with my son for a sociology project. I was very moved. I would think Isaiah's would be about 18-19 years of age now and would love to have a follow up story to see how things turned out for him and his family. They are strong, courageous family and dedicated parents. Hope for the best for them.

    kiddies_cat, 22 Oct 2017
  • MGee

    I just watched this on TVO and was so moved I wanted to find out where Isaiah is from. I was saddened deeply. I really wish the best for this family and hope for Isaiah that one day all his dreams come true! Politicians should be ashamed. Our tax dollars are squandered when we have people in such great need in our own backyard.

    MGee, 17 Aug 2014
  • erinward

    I just seen this documentary. It was heart warming and amazing in so many ways. What courage, this family has.

    erinward, 21 Feb 2012

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