The NFB is committed to respecting your privacy

We use cookies to ensure that our site works efficiently, as well as for advertising purposes.

If you do not wish to have your information used in this way, you can modify your browser settings before continuing your visit.

Learn more
Four Feet Up

Four Feet Up

| 46 min

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.


Credits
  • 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

Suggestions

Enjoy the NFB experience on your favourite device. 

Education

Ages 15 to 16

Ethics and Religious Culture - Ethical Values
Family Studies/Home Economics - Family Diversity and Challenges

Students will volunteer their time at a local food bank and write about their experiences while documenting how the food bank helps their community. Students will chart and research poverty in their community/province/country and compare statistics with another country. Students will plan a grocery list based on a specified amount given by the teacher, to feed a family of four or five for one week. Students will create a budget and describe their food choices/meals in writing or through imagery.

Four Feet Up
Purchase options
Also available
Already paid to see this film?

Embed this code on your site

Video player width

by Reset