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.
Part 2 of this 3-part documentary series about Pierre Elliott Trudeau and René Lévesque covers the years between 1967 and 1977, a colourful decade that saw Trudeau win three federal elections, the 1970 October Crisis and the sweeping rise to power of the Parti Québécois.
In Part 1 of this 3-part documentary series, director Donald Brittain chronicles the early years of Pierre Elliott Trudeau and René Lévesque. From their university days in the 1950s to 1967 when Lévesque left the Liberal Party and Trudeau became the federal Minister of Justice, Brittain attempts to get at the heart of what makes these men so fascinating.
The final instalment of this 3-part documentary series about Pierre Elliott Trudeau and René Lévesque spans the decade between 1976 and 1986. The film reveals the turbulent, behind-the-scenes drama during the Quebec referendum and the repatriation of the Canadian Constitution. In doing so, it also traces both Trudeau's and Lévesque's fall from power.
This feature-length documentary looks at those desperate days of October 1970 when Montreal awaited the outcome of FLQ terrorist acts. Using news reports and clips from the time, the film reflects upon the October Crisis and reveals the relief, dismay and defiance people felt when the Canadian army stepped in.
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 feature documentary traces the political career of T.C. (Tommy) Douglas, former premier of Saskatchewan and leader of the New Democratic Party, who was voted the Greatest Canadian in 2004 for his devotion to social causes, his charm and his powers of persuasion. Known as the "Father of Medicare," this one-time champion boxer and fiery preacher entered politics in the 1930s and never looked back.
After the Ballot is a full-length documentary portraying the gruelling everyday life of two Members of Quebec's National Assembly who, although at opposite ends of the political spectrum, share the fact that their sole power lies in their convictions. One is Daniel Turp, the PQ Member for Mercier. The other is Charlotte L'Écuyer, Liberal MNA for Pontiac. The film aptly illustrates that ordinary MNAs have very little authority since the real power is held by ministers who are subject to the ups and downs of a globalized economy. Meanwhile, their fellow citizens keep asking for the impossible…
This feature-length documentary paints a lively portrait of Father of Confederation and first premier of Newfoundland Joseph Roberts Smallwood, or "Joey," as he is known to most Canadians.
Following one of Canada’s most colourful political figures during a two-and-a-half-month period that included a stormy Liberal leadership convention, the film reveals a man misunderstood even by his close associates.
This feature documentary offers a behind-the-scenes look at political decision-making in Ontario, the most populated Canadian province. A candid study of Ontario Premier Bill Davis and his Cabinet profiles the political process—a daily round of committee meetings, budget tabling, and media relations initiatives. Born into a political dynasty, Davis has the power and resources of the “big blue machine” behind him as he initiates political manoeuvres that tackle everything from unemployment to provincial-federal relations. The film reveals key aspects of Davis's political philosophy, one that kept the Conservatives in power in Ontario for 36 consecutive years.
This feature documentary offers an incisive look at Canadian politics at the 1976 Progressive Conservative Party leadership convention. Cape Bretoner Flora MacDonald is campaigning for the Party’s leadership, the first woman to do so. We follow MacDonald behind the scenes as she works with her staff to prepare policy, speeches, and strategies to win the race. We also get a glimpse of MacDonald’s sprightly and upbeat attitude as she puts her best foot forward in front of voters, media, and the Party’s elite.
This feature length documentary by Jacques Godbout tackles a topic all too rarely explored in the media: terrorism in Canadian society. From Montreal to Vancouver, and Quebec City to Toronto, exasperated individuals find a new calling as self-style saviours of humanity and decide to mete out their own justice. Part reportage, part essay and part critical analysis of the phenomenon, this film includes first-hand accounts by Serge Daoust, Franco Piperno, François Schirm, Pierre Vallières and young militants from the journal Révoltes.
Ages 13 to 18
Study Guide - Guide 1
Civics/Citizenship - Federal/Provincial Government
History - Canada 1946-1991
History and Citizenship Education - Culture and Currents of Thought (1500-present)
Media Education - Journalism/News
Warnings: Some swear words
Before watching the documentary, briefly research Canada in the late 1970s. What are some of the key issues (social, economic, political)? What causes are given for Pierre Trudeau’s election loss and Joe Clark’s victory in the 1979 election? Review the Concepts of Political Thinking. Select one point from each of the concepts and respond using this election as an example. Describe the different approaches to the election used by the reporters who were spotlighted in the documentary. Collect examples of how the media covered the election (e.g., “touch analysis”). This documentary overwhelmingly features the voices of white men; research the perspectives held by other people in Canada to this election. Compare and contrast this election coverage (featuring the television) and a more recent domestic or international election. Compare and contrast the role of the television and the newspaper in the election coverage featured in this documentary.