This Oscar®-winning documentary presents Nadia, a 9-year-old girl with spina bifida. Her dream is to attend a regular school, even though she knows other kids will tease her. Wise for her young age, Nadia simply decides that she'll "find a way to deal with it." Despite having to overcome many obstacles, Nadia's got spunk and makes it clear she's not looking for sympathy. This film is part of the Children of Canada series.
Meet Tony Rossi, a 10-year-old boy who can only distinguish light from shadow. Despite this difficulty, he leads a very active life. The short documentary shows the ingenious ways in which Tony manages his life. This film is part of the Children of Canada series.
This short documentary introduces us to Lennard Island, a tiny island near Tofino, British Columbia, and the family of 4 who are its sole occupants. There we meet the lightkeeper’s son, Steven Thomas Holland, age 10, and his father, mother and brother. A gracious host and great fan of his island home, the boy takes us on a tour and dispels any ideas that living in isolation might be boring. This film is part of the Children of Canada series.
Academy Award®-winning director Beverly Shaffer presents Benoit, a highly accomplished 11-year-old boy from Joliette. A member of the Orchestre symphonique des jeunes de Joliette, he still finds time for his busy social life with peers and elders alike. Part of the Children of Canada series, the film is in French with English subtitles.
This feature-length documentary looks at Stephen O'Keefe, a deaf, stand-up comedian. Faced with the usual challenges that life presents - marriage, children and career - Stephen works extra hard just to be able to hear (with the aid of a cochlear implant) and communicate with those around him. While many hearing-impaired people find life isolating, Stephen embraces the spotlight and chooses to step forward and entertain people.
This short film depicts Newfoundland’s “old times” as seen by Julie O’Brien, an 11-year-old living in Tors Cove. Told in the first person with cutaway shots to the girl’s many activities, the film illustrates the way traditions are maintained, remembered and evolved. This film is part of the Children of Canada series.
This feature documentary is a portrait of Luke Melchior (1973-2021) who, at 26, had already lived longer than most people with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a progressive wasting of the muscles. Knowing his life would be relatively short had made Luke feel an urgency about making a lasting contribution. Living independently, with the help of 3 homecare workers, he ran a web-based business selling outdoor gear, and chaired the board of the Disability Resource Centre in Victoria, BC, where he was a passionate advocate for the rights of the disabled.
Bearing Witness consists of 3 films, each approximately one hour long, on people with life-threatening illnesses. The series also profiles Jocelyn Morton, who died of liver cancer at 44, and Robert Coley-Donohue, who died of ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease) at age 74.
Academy Award®-winning director Beverly Shaffer offers a unique perspective of downtown Montreal, as seen through the eyes of Susan Yee, a young Chinese-Canadian girl. A perceptive and outspoken young woman, Susan has a sharp eye for adult foibles, and she doesn’t hesitate to use it at home, at play, or at school. Part of the Children of Canada series.
Gurdeep is a thirteen-year-old Canadian Sikh whose family runs a dairy farm near Chilliwack, British Columbia. They have retained their language and religion. Attendance at the Sikh temple, playing soccer with his schoolmates, and working on the farm are all part of Gurdeep's well-integrated life, but sometimes he feels a little different from the other children because he wears a turban. This film is part of the Children of Canada series.
Sixty-six-year-old Ivy Granstrom jogs, skis, bowls, gardens and does carpentry work. Sometimes she walks into a wall. Due to insufficient care at birth, she enjoys only 4.5% vision, but she doesn't let blindness interfere with her life. She practises the art of "mind over eyes."
This feature documentary is a portrait of Sam Sullivan, a quadriplegic city councillor running for Vancouver mayor. Blending the rough and tumble of the campaign with intimate moments from Sullivan's daily life, the film is an unflinching portrait of the one-of-a-kind politician.
In the mountainous country near Lillooet, British Columbia, eleven-year-old Kevin Alec of the Fountain Indian Reserve learns to make fishnets with his grandfather, and skin and tan hides with his aunt. He goes fishing with his grandmother and horseback riding with his brother. Life is full of wonderful things to do and to learn. Will Kevin eventually abandon his traditional way of life or will it be a source of continuing enrichment? This film is part of the Children of Canada series.
Ages 9 to 11
Study Guide - Guide 1
Health/Personal Development - Human Growth and Development
Encourage a discussion about physical handicaps in general and spina bifida in particular. Have students comment on Nadia’s courage, strength and spirit. Compare the special school Nadia attends with your own school. What challenges would Nadia face in a regular school? How could these challenges be overcome?