Four Feet Up (Clip 1)

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Twenty 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 and desire more than anything for Isaiah and his siblings to have access to the opportunities they never had.

In Four Feet Up, her second NFB documentary, award-winning photographer and filmmaker Nance Ackerman invites us into the lives of this determined family for an intimate and touching experience of child poverty in one of the richest countries in the world.
Ackerman spent two years with Isaiah and his family, developing a relationship entrusted to her to share with us through her tender care and vision. 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 and to take a more critical look at how we measure wealth.

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Nance Ackerman
Nance Ackerman
Annette Clarke
director of photography
Christopher Ball
Nance Ackerman
Roslyn Power
sound recordist
Aram Kouyoumdjian
Jamie Alexander Alcorn
sound edit
Paul Steffler
sound design
Paul Steffler
archival research
Candice Desormeaux
Katie McKay
Jean Paul Vialard
Shelley Craig
executive producer
Kent Martin


  • 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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