At her family’s cabin on Wakaw Lake, Saskatchewan, renowned Fransaskois singer-songwriter Alexis Normand invites audiences into a series of candid exchanges about belonging and bilingualism on the Prairies. Weaving together old home movies with current conversations, French Enough illuminates the struggle and triumph of reclaiming francophone Canadian identity. As parents, children and grandchildren sing, play and celebrate, in both French and English, the act of carrying a language forward finally becomes a thing of freedom and joy.
This short film features the adventures of a group of businessmen who are forced into taking French lessons to stay competitive in their field. At first put out by this news, one by one they begin to realize that gaining fluency in another language has its benefits. Produced in 1965, the film, intended as a good-natured spoof, is definitely a product of its time.
Phil Comeau shines a spotlight on the Ordre de Jacques-Cartier, a powerful secret society that operated from 1926 to 1965, infiltrating every sector of Canadian society and forging the fate of French-language communities. Through never-before-heard testimony from former members of the Order, along with historically accurate dramatic reconstructions, this film paints a gripping portrait of the social and political struggles of Canadian francophone-minority communities.
Cut off from his loved ones due to the pandemic lockdown, a quadriplegic rabbi in a long-term-care facility is filmed remotely by his daughter. Offering powerful meditations on love and hope, Perfecting the Art of Longing shows us what it means to be alive in a state of profound isolation.
WARNING: This film discusses the topic of childhood sexual assault. Viewer discretion is advised.
Why be silent about the most serious matters? Doesn’t silence perpetuate suffering? From the 1950s to the 1980s, Catholic priests sexually abused many young boys in the francophone towns of New Brunswick. These scandals only came to light when the victims were in their fifties, provoking shock and outrage in the media and the public. Why did the affected communities keep silent so long, preferring secrecy to justice and truth? Profiting from their positions of influence to impose a “pious silence” on their parishioners, authority figures built an abusive system that tells us as much about the type of oppression specific to the Acadian population as it does about the blanket denials issued by the Catholic Church. Called to confront the power of this collective silence, veteran filmmaker Renée Blanchar meets with survivors in an attempt to untangle the deeply rooted reasons for this secrecy. With The Silence, she takes us as close as she can to the humanity of these broken men, revealing the forces that, today as in the past, have the power to unite or divide Acadian communities.
In A Motorcycle Saved My Life, the open road presents a point of departure for director lori lozinski to process deep-seated grief. Revisiting the formative experiences that drove her ambition, lozinski examines the influence of her parents in the present light of day
When French-speaking Jacques moves next door to English-speaking Jimmy, each is amazed to find that the other doesn't speak his language. But when it comes to exploring and playing together, language just doesn't seem to matter. Each soon finds himself venturing into the other's language.
Some dreamers have the power to inspire us, bring us together, and help us reconnect with our humanity. Alain Philoctète, a Haitian artist and activist who settled in Quebec, returns to the country of his birth to develop a permaculture project with local farmers. There, he has an emotional reunion with family members and his former comrades in arms, whose ideals remain unshaken despite the lingering aftermath of the 2010 earthquake and political instability. However, Alain, who is suffering from cancer, has to undergo treatment in Montreal, where his loved ones provide the same degree of affection and solidarity as he receives in Haiti. Director Will Prosper films this inspiring dreamer on his hopeful quest, chronicling the challenges of exile and illness with the personal, knowing touch of a longtime friend. With a rich score composed by Jenny Salgado, Kenbe la, Until We Win offers a cinematic journey that will move viewers to ponder the importance of embracing ideals and passing them on.
Muslim women are disconcerting, intriguing, polarizing—and straitjacketed by conflations of ideas in front-page stories. While the media tend to portray them as submissive and silenced, filmmaker Saïda Ouchaou-Ozarowski has chosen to distance herself from that caricature, with which she does not identify. She sat down with six Muslim Canadian women eager to talk about what shapes their identities. The resulting documentary, In Full Voice, offers an intimate perspective on the journey of these women, who have a common desire to share their visions of Islam.
This animated short is a take on the "As Seen on TV" commercials, or the K-Tel ads of yesteryear. In this parody version, the ad attempts to sell an electronic device that allows one to speak fluent, effortless French.
Please note that this film was produced in 1979 and reflects certain attitudes and thinking of its era. The last scene of the film includes negative stereotyping of Jews living in Quebec. These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now. While the film does not represent today’s views as perspectives of Canadians (and the NFB) have evolved and we have become more conscious regarding issues of discrimination and minority rights, the film is presented in its original version because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these stereotypes never existed.
This short documentary chronicles the participation of Edmonton’s Chorale Saint-Jean in the festivities organized for Quebec City’s 400th anniversary. The film is interspersed with interviews with conductor Laurier Fagnan, lyricist-composer France Levasseur-Ouimet and other people involved with this talented choir. Poignant and charming, it shows that French outside Quebec doesn’t necessarily have a bleak future. Indeed, not only is Franco-Albertan culture surviving, but it is also enriching our country’s heritage. In French with English subtitles.
This documentary was made as part of the Tremplin program, with the collaboration of Radio-Canada.