This feature documentary zooms in on a Grade 6 class in Quebec where a teacher is implementing an experimental teaching method aimed at preparing children to take up environmental challenges. Over the course of a year, Dominique Leduc’s students will learn to identify, analyze and resolve a problem that exists in their world. They also learn about the uncertainty faced by those who want change.
In this feature-length documentary, Alanis Obomsawin tells the story of Shannen’s Dream, a national campaign to provide equitable access to education in safe and suitable schools for First Nations children. Strong participation in this initiative eventually brings Shannen's Dream all the way to the United Nations in Geneva.
Also available on the Alanis Obomsawin: A Legacy DVD box set
This feature documentary explores the world of adolescence in rural teenagers' interactions with various authority figures. Outside the classroom, though, the teens enjoy more control of their world; in this playground, they can test the limits of their temporary freedom. A work of patient observation relying mostly on uninterrupted long takes,Guidelines emphasizes the contrast between adult and adolescent, between the regulated classroom and the great outdoors, gradually revealing the interior drama of adolescence with its shifts from fragility to reckless abandon.
In this feature documentary, Richard Desjardins and Robert Monderie continue in the same provocative vein as their earlier Forest Alert, this time turning their lens on Canada's mining industry. Using striking images, rare archival footage and interviews, The Hole Story analyzes company profits and the impact of mining on the environment and workers’ health.
This short documentary takes a look at the changing face of PEI's agricultural industry. Once famous for its spuds and red mud, this tiny island province now has higher than average cancer and respiratory illness rates. Is there a link to industrialized farming? Rather than dwelling on PEI’s worrisome monocropping practices, Island Green dares to ask: What if PEI went entirely organic?
The stirring words of PEI-born poet Tanya Davis are coupled with beautiful imagery and poignant stories from the island’s small but growing community of organic farmers, reminding us that we can rob the land only so much before it robs us of the nourishment we need for life. Island Green is ultimately a story of hope and healthy promise.
This feature documentary by Alanis Obomsawin is a thoughtful tribute to Norman Cornett, a McGill University professor celebrated by scores of students appreciative of his unconventional yet powerful teaching methods who was controversially dismissed from his teaching duties in 2007.
Danny Williams was the charismatic and unflinching Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador from 2003 to 2010. By the time he left office, he had become the most popular—and controversial—Canadian politician of his era.
Laced with humour and revealing back-room anecdotes, Danny is the story of how Williams turned a “have not” into a “have” province. Known as a fighter, Williams famously took on prime ministers and Big Oil to ensure that benefits from the province’s abundant natural resources flowed back to its people. His mantra “no more giveaways” was key to his unprecedented popularity, but pride in his province made Williams a hero to its people.
Director Mina Shum makes her foray into feature documentary by reopening the file on a watershed moment in Canadian race relations – the infamous Sir George Williams Riot. Over four decades after a group of Caribbean students accused their professor of racism, triggering an explosive student uprising, Shum locates the protagonists and listens as they set the record straight, trying to make peace with the past.
An American elementary school program from the 1970s, Man: A Course of Study (MACOS), looked to the Inuit of the Canadian Arctic to help students see their own society in a new way. At its core was The Netsilik Film Series, an acclaimed benchmark of visual anthropology from the National Film Board that captured a year in the life of an Inuit family, reconstructing an ancient culture on the cusp of contact with the outside world. But the graphic images of the Netsilik people created a clash of values that tore rifts in communities across the U.S. and revealed a fragile relationship between politics and education. A fiery national debate ensued between academic and conservative forces.
Through These Eyes looks back at the high stakes of this controversial curriculum. Decades later, as American influence continues to affect cultures worldwide, the story of MACOS resonates strongly.
This feature documentary exposes the little-known tragedy of girl soldiers in Uganda. How can they learn to live normal lives again after being abducted and trained to become killing machines? Clinging to their dreams, Grace, Milly and Lucy are trying to restore meaning to their lives and break the silence surrounding the fate of a sacrificed generation.
Ages 10 to 14
Study Guide - Guide 1
Civics/Citizenship - Citizen Responsibilities
History and Citizenship Education - Issues in Society Today
Social Studies - Environmental Challenges
Hope Builders is the perfect example of an action-research project. The documentary is not only a superb teaching tool, but also an example of perseverance and citizen engagement. Teachers can use it to devise a research project or post-screening lesson plan. Comparisons can be made between the students’ project and the one presented at La Farandole School.