This fast-paced documentary follows Canadian freelance reporter Jesse Rosenfeld’s journey across the Middle East. Having made the region the focus of his work, he shows us the thorny geopolitical realities on the ground and explores how journalism practices have changed in the age of the Internet. From Egypt to Turkey and Iraq by way of Israel and Palestine, filmmaker Santiago Bertolino captures the ups and downs of a new kind of journalism in action.
Listen to a podcast by Jesse Rosenfeld and Jesse Freeston as they discuss the dangers and thrills of reporting from the Middle East.
This short film from 1945 demonstrates how broadcasters and journalists relayed war news back to Canada. It includes glimpses of the complex organization behind them - the military PR directors, the censors, dispatch riders, engineers and the Canadian Press and British United Press offices.
This feature documentary examines its own genre, which has often been called Canada's national art form. Released in the year of the NFB's 75th birthday, Shameless Propaganda is filmmaker Robert Lower's take on the boldest and most compelling propaganda effort in our history (1939-1945), in which founding NFB Commissioner John Grierson saw the documentary as a "hammer to shape society". All 500 of the films produced by the NFB until 1945 are distilled here for the essence of their message to Canadians. Using only these films and still photos from that era, Lower recreates the picture of Canada they gave us and looks in it for the Canada we know today. What he finds is by turns enlightening, entertaining, and unexpectedly disturbing.
This short documentary profiles Sophie Wollock and the newspaper she founded for the western suburbs of Montreal in l963, The Suburban. A weekly paper distributed free to some 45,000 homes, most of them anglophone, The Suburban became famous for the strongly worded editorials written by Wollock, mainly on the subject of Québec nationalism. The film looks at the paper, then under the guidance of her son, and sums up some of Wollock's more impassioned editorials.
This documentary examines the media's coverage of the federal election of May 1979. Filmed over a 3-week period, it takes a fascinating look at journalists in action and the politicians who attempt to manipulate the media.
This short film from 1948 takes an in-depth look at local newspapers and their relationship to the community they serve. Following the weekly editor of one such hometown paper for a day, the film tracks the local events that will be news tomorrow. In town, we meet the people whose names are scattered through the pages: the mayor and his hope of a new city hall, the local angler who breaks a record and even the lacrosse team, sharing spectators with the band concert in the park.
Raised in a refugee camp in the West Bank while her mother was in prison, Walaa dreams of becoming a policewoman in the Palestinian Security Forces (PSF). Despite discouragement from her family, even her beloved brother Mohammed, Walaa applies and gets in. But her own rebellious behaviour and complicated relationship with her mother are challenging, as are the circumstances under which she lives.
Following Walaa from 15-21, with an intimate POV, What Walaa Wants is the compelling story of a defiant young girl navigating formidable obstacles, learning which rules to break and follow, and disproving the negative predictions from her surroundings and the world at large.
This feature documentary is a portrait of Montreal political cartoonists Aislin and Serge Chapleau. In the pages of The Montreal Gazette and La Presse, respectively, they’ve been skewering politicians for 30 years. But who are these biting satirists? The film seeks to answer this question through interviews with the cartoonist's friends, families, colleagues, and even a few of their favourite victims, including Gilles Duceppe and Louise Beaudoin. Featuring many of their classic cartoons, Nothing Sacred pays tribute to gifted iconoclasts whose hilarious characters have seeped into our collective consciousness.
Even at a frail 90, Martha Katz has an impish energy that remains undiminished. She chides grandson-filmmaker Daniel Schubert over his choice of shirt during a visit to her Los Angeles home, but there’s trauma beneath the humour. At 14, Martha and her family were torn from their village in Czechoslovakia and shipped to Auschwitz. A visit to a Holocaust museum ignites painful memories, including a haunting personal encounter with one of Nazi Germany’s most notorious figures. For Martha, however, the emphasis is on a tough but rewarding postwar life in Winnipeg, which she fondly recalls in this warm, intimate portrait of an unrelenting survivor.
Director Mirjam Leuze’s The Whale and the Raven illuminates the many issues that have drawn whale researchers, the Gitga’at First Nation, and the Government of British Columbia into a complex conflict. As the people in the Great Bear Rainforest struggle to protect their territory against the pressure and promise of the gas industry, caught in between are the countless beings that call this place home.
In 1937, tens of thousands of Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent were exterminated by the Dominican army on the basis of anti-black racism. Fast-forward to 2013: the Dominican Republic’s Supreme Court stripped the citizenship of anyone with Haitian parents, retroactive to 1929, rendering more than 200,000 people stateless. Director Michèle Stephenson’s new documentary follows the grassroots campaign of a young attorney named Rosa Iris, as she challenges electoral corruption and fights to protect the right to citizenship for all people.
Celebrate Black Canadian cinema with the NFB. Explore our collection of films from Black filmmakers across Canada.
Ages 16 to 18
History - World History
History and Citizenship Education - Issues in Society Today
History and Citizenship Education - Official Powers and Countervailing Powers (1608-present)
Media Education - Journalism/News
Compare and contrast freelance journalists with their counterparts in major news organizations. What motivation does Jesse Rosenfeld have for staying in his profession when journalism is a shrinking field? What commentary does this documentary make about Western hegemony in international conflict zones? At the end of the documentary, Rosenfeld comments on what he sees as the noble cause that journalists uphold—what impact does storytelling have on the way the world reacts to human tragedy?