This short film documents John Cabot's quest to discover a westward route across the sea to the Orient in 15th-century Europe. The resulting story is one that explores the geography of the Renaissance world as well as its social and intellectual character.
This short film realistically portrays the conflict Henry Hudson experienced when he went in search of an open water route to the Orient, and no one would follow him. What he discovered instead was an inland sea, a discovery that ended in tragedy.
Filmed on the great Mackenzie River, this short fiction film recreates the amazing voyage of the man who gave his name to it. Following the path outlined in Mackenzie's journal, the film depicts his arduous journey by canoe all the way to the salt water of the Arctic Ocean - one of the great epics of northern exploration.
This film tells the story of the Red River settlement, now the city of Winnipeg, Manitoba. The pioneer venture of Thomas Douglas, Earl of Selkirk, to establish a colony brought opposition from the North West Company, the Hudson's Bay Company’s powerful rival. A fine cast of actors portrays the ensuing dispute.
This short film tells the story of Lord Elgin, a man’s whose faith in a nation’s right to self-determination was stronger than the threat of the mob or his own fear of failure. Successor to Lord Durham, he established the principles on which Canadian government stands today.
This short historical reenactment is a portrait of Canadian Father of Confederation Charles Tupper. The film harks back to a time when the idea of a federal union was still hotly debated, when it was unclear whether Nova Scotia would come in or remain out. It studies a bigger-than-life politician who won over both his bitterest opponent, Joseph Howe, and the people of this Maritime province, to finally lead Nova Scotia into the Canadian Confederation in 1867.
This film is a reconstruction of Robert Baldwin’s involvement in the Upper Canada Rebellion of 1837. Though bound to the cause of constitutional reform by principle, Baldwin’s heart was with the rebels and in the midst of armed revolt, he withdrew to fight a lonely battle with himself.
The story of the Jesuit martyrs who lived with the Wendat converts in the region near what is now Midland, Ontario. The film is of wide interest since it reconstructs a period of Canadian history, especially of Indigenous life, at the very beginning of European settlement. The village and the Jesuits' buildings are exact models from archeologists' reconstructions. The story is based on the Jesuit Relations, the actual journals of mission life that still make for thrilling reading.
(Please note that Mission of Fear was produced in 1965 and reflects the attitudes and thinking of its era. To modern audiences, parts of the film may be perceived as offensive, but it must be seen as a cultural product of the era in which it was produced. The perspectives of Canadians (and the NFB) have evolved and become more conscious of Indigenous rights, realities and points of view since the making of the film. Through its rich collection of Indigenous-made films, available at Indigenous Cinema, the NFB continues to strive to challenge stereotypes about Indigenous people and accurately depict the diverse experiences of Indigenous communities. )
This short drama is a portrait of Nova Scotian journalist and politician Joseph Howe (1804-1873) and his battle for freedom of press. When, in 1835, Howe was accused of seditious libel, no lawyer dared defend him. Choosing to defend himself, he addressed the jury for over 6 hours, urging jurors to leave an unshackled press as a legacy to their children. Though the judge instructed the jury to find Howe guilty, jurors took only 10 minutes to acquit him - a landmark event in the evolution of press freedom in Canada.
Ages 12 to 17
Study Guide - Guide 1
History - Early Colonization/Settlement
Students should have some background knowledge of John Cabot before viewing this film so they are able to understand his mission. After the film, have a discussion and compare Christopher Columbus' voyage with that of John Cabot. Were they both seeking the same thing?