This wartime newsreel from 1942 documents the efforts of China to deal with Japanese aggression.
This feature documentary is a biography of Dr. Norman Bethune, the Canadian doctor who served with the loyalists during the Spanish Civil War and with the North Chinese Army during the Sino-Japanese War. In Spain he pioneered the world's first mobile blood-transfusion service; in China his work behind battle lines to save the wounded has made him a legendary figure.
Tom Radford's documentary chronicles the life of Chester Ronning, best remembered for his close and longstanding relationship with China. Over the course of his life, Ronning worked as a cowboy, ambassador, college president, missionary and a member of the Alberta legislature. But throughout all of his careers, his lifelong ambition was to explain China to the western world. His story is a rare example of the meeting of East and West in a compassionate, remarkable man.
The NFB's 63rd Oscar®-nominated film.
Shui-Bo Wang's feature documentary is a visual autobiography of an artist who grew up in China during the historic upheavals of the ‘60s, '70s and '80s. A rich collage of original artwork and family and archival photos presents a personal perspective on the turbulent Cultural Revolution and the years that followed. For Shui-Bo Wang and others of his generation, Tiananmen Square was the central symbol of the new China – a society to be based on equality and cooperation. This animated documentary artfully traces Shui-Bo's roots and his own life journey as he struggles to sort through ideology and arrive at truth.
This short documentary follows a group of students from Hamilton, Ontario, on a rare three-week “tour” of China in 1972. These teenagers were the first North American students to visit China since 1949, when Mao Tse Tung’s Communists overthrew the Nationalist Government of Chiang Kai-shek.
This documentary from 1980 depicts a factory community in China where over 6000 workers process, spin and weave raw cotton into 90 million yards of high-quality cloth per year. Also seen are the workers' residential, social, recreational and educational facilities, all located on factory property. The film presents an engrossing study of a lifestyle that is very different from that of the Western world.
In this documentary, the members of the University of British Columbia's Thunderbirds hockey team travel to China to demonstrate their skills to the new teams in the East. While hockey there still has a long way to go, this film leaves no doubt that the Chinese players are up to the challenge. A film propelled by discoveries, it goes a long way to providing insight into the differences between East and West.
For more background information about this film, please visit the NFB.ca blog.
In this feature documentary, Oscar®-nominated filmmaker Shuibo Wang (Sunrise Over Tiananmen Square) aims his camera at the astonishing story of 21 American soldiers who opted to stay in China after the Korean War ended in 1954. Back home in the United States, McCarthyism was at its height and many Americans believed these men were brainwashed by Chinese communists. But what really happened? Using never-before-seen footage from the Chinese camps and interviews with former PoWs and their families, They Chose China tells the fascinating stories of these forgotten American dissidents.
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.
The NFB's 2nd Oscar®-nominated film.
This short film examines the Japan that emerged at the beginning of the 1900s and was firmly established as an industrialized nation by the outbreak of World War II. Facing the greatest threat in their history, the democracies of the Pacific took careful stock of this new Japan and its strength, and erected a vast system of defence across the world's greatest ocean.
This short documentary examines the strength of the enemy forces in Japan towards the end of World War II. The mobilization of Japan's people and the consolidation of her fleets and armies along the front are weighed against the Allied Forces preparations for increasing attacks.
With the distance between Canada and Russia, China and India cut by high-speed planes, new international links are being forged. In this Pacific world, British Columbia is a unit of growing importance. In a brief survey of the province, this film covers the people, natural resources, industries, and some of the social problems of British Columbia - specifically the imprisonment of Japanese citizens and brief references to the lives of Chinese and Indian migrants. Located on the Pacific Coast, it is the jumping-off place for planes bound for East Asia, and a vital link between the rest of Canada and her neighbours across the Pacific.
Ages 15 to 17
History - World War II
Supplement to the study of World War II from the Chinese perspective as China struggles with the advancing Japanese. Discuss the concept of “the common good” as it applies to China’s efforts to stave off the Japanese threat. Have students comment on the involvement of women and children in the war effort. Discuss why China was considered a leader in military strategy early in the war. Have students comment on the tone of the film’s narration.