This animated short from Norman McLaren features a human skull cautioning Canadians to “keep their mouths shut” in an effort to end gossiping during World War II.
Warning: This film contains flashing images and stroboscopic sequences
This short newsreel highlights the battles faced by both Axis and Ally powers over the minds of the world through propaganda and information. Part of the World in Action series, this film includes footage of Winston Churchill, Benito Mussolini, and Adolf Hitler.
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.
This wartime publicity trailer by Norman McLaren focuses on wartime inflation and the role of price control. Single-frame animation is used with pen drawings made directly on 35mm film stock. Music is by Louis Applebaum, a leading composer and advocate for the arts in Canada.
This short film from WWII focuses on the increasingly important roles women occupy on the various war fronts. In England, their more active jobs include ferrying planes from factory to airfield and operating anti-aircraft guns. In Russia, they are fighting on the front lines as well as acting as parachute nurses, army doctors and technicians. In Canada women have joined active service auxiliaries, and thousands labour day and night in factories turning out the tools of war. From the Canada Carries On series.
The NFB's 29th Oscar®-nominated film.
In this animated short, director Peter Foldès depicts one man’s descent into greed and gluttony. Rapidly dissolving and ever-evolving images create a contrast between abundance and want. One of the first films to use computer animation, this satire serves as a cautionary tale against self-indulgence in a world still plagued by hunger and poverty.
This short documentary about the Canadian seamen who manned Canada's eastern ports during WWII is the first film in the Canada Carries On series. The film depicts the work of the Royal Canadian marines who accompanied convoys of military supplies to the Allied Forces and those who remained on the eastern coast to defend against the Germans.
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.
This short WWII propaganda documentary drives home the point that steel and committed steel workers can make the difference between winning and losing in modern warfare. A short sequence demonstrating the depravity of the Nazis is followed by a detailed explanation of the manufacture of Bren guns, ambulances, transport trucks and submarine chasers in Canada during World War II.
Ages 16 to 17
Civics/Citizenship - Citizen Responsibilities
History - World War II
Introduce the idea of dangerous conversations (i.e. gossiping), that was believed to undermine the Canadian war effort. Discuss the wartime adage, “loose lips sink ships.” Was this gross exaggeration and overreaction on the government’s part? Could enemy spies have been so prevalent that common citizens might have leaked delicate strategic information?