This feature documentary follows one of the greatest Canadian baseball players of all time, Ferguson Jenkins, through the 1972-1973 season. From the hope and innocence of spring training to the dog days of an August slump, the camera gets up close and personal at the home plate and records the intimate chatter on the mound, in the dugout and in the locker room. It provides a glimpse into the rewards and pressures of sports stardom and the easy camaraderie of the quintessential summer sport.
In this feature-length documentary, director Paul Jay was given unprecedented access to the world of Bret Hart and pro wrestling as his camera followed Bret "the Hitman" Hart for one year. Going behind the tightly guarded walls of wrestling's spectacle and theatre, the film explores the meaning of today's wrestling morality plays. As fantasy crosses into real life, the true story of Bret Hart's struggle with Vince McMahon, the legendary owner of the WWE, is revealed. Hitman Hart: Wrestling with Shadows climaxes with the tale of the biggest double-cross in pro wrestling.
This feature-length documentary follows naturalist Bill Mason on his journey by canoe into the Ontario wilderness. The filmmaker and artist begins on Lake Superior, then explores winding and sometimes tortuous river waters to the meadowlands of the river's source. Along the way, Mason paints scenes that capture his attention and muses about his love of the canoe, his artwork and his own sense of the land.
Mason also uses the film as a commentary on the link between God and nature and the vast array of beautiful canvases God created for him to paint. Features breathtaking visuals and exciting whitewater footage, with a musical score by Bruce Cockburn.
For more background info on this film, visit the NFB.ca blog.
This feature documentary uses animation, archival stills and live-action footage to detail the history of women's participation in the largely male-dominated world of baseball and softball. Zany and affectionate, it features 7-year-olds learning the rules and skills of the game and 50-year-olds hitting home runs, from the early days of the Bloomer Girls to the heyday of the Colorado Silver Bullets.
For more background information on this film, please visit the NFB.ca blog.
This informal black-and-white portrait of Leonard Cohen shows him at age 30 on a visit to his hometown of Montreal, where the poet, novelist and songwriter comes "to renew his neurotic affiliations." He reads his poetry to an enthusiastic crowd, strolls the streets of the city, relaxes in this three-dollar-a-night hotel room and even takes a bath.
The NFB's 27th Oscar®-nominated film.
Director Bill Mason's short film focuses on his friend and fellow filmmaker, Blake James. In his never-ending quest for freedom, Blake pilots his own plane. This film is Mason's view of his friend as a "hobo of the skies," but it is also an adventure that beckons the viewer to come along for the ride.
This captivating short documentary profiles the young Canadian long-distance runner Bruce Kidd at 19 years old. Kidd eventually went on to win a gold and bronze medal at the 1962 Commonwealth Games, and was a competing member of the 1964 Canadian Olympic team. Directed by Don Owen (Nobody Waved Good-bye, Toronto Jazz), the film is luminously photographed by John Spotton and features poetic commentary composed and spoken by the great Anglo-American poet W.H. Auden. The camera follows Kidd’s sprightly movements as he runs on piers, practice tracks, and finally, in an international race. Oblivious to the clapping crowds and the flash of cameras, he knows full well that in the long run it is the cold stopwatch that tells the truth.
This documentary by director Paul Cowan is about four athletes and a team that competed in the 1976 Olympics. They had trained courageously to be among those who would mount the podium to receive a medal. None of them did, but was it worth the effort? I'll Go Again answers the question.
In this short documentary, award-winning filmmaker Annie Frazier Henry follows an elite handful of Indigenous athletes from British Columbia for two years as they make their way to the 2002 North American Indigenous Games in Winnipeg. Over 6,000 young sportsmen and women from across Canada and the US compete in the games, and this film serves as a tribute to their hard work, dedication, and achievements.
This short film highlights how the sport of lacrosse, which has changed little over time, is regaining popularity. Watch how the game is played, how lacrosse sticks are made by Mohawks at a factory in Cornwall, and how the Canadian Lacrosse Association helps instruct teams.
This feature-length documentary from 1974 takes viewers inside Fidel Castro's Cuba. A movie-making threesome hope that Fidel himself will star in their film. The unusual crew consists of former Newfoundland premier Joseph Smallwood, radio and TV owner Geoff Stirling and NFB film director Michael Rubbo. What happens while the crew awaits its star shows a good deal of the new Cuba, and also of the three Canadians who chose to film the island.
Ages 16 to 17
Diversity - Black Studies
Health/Personal Development - Fitness/Physical Activities
Physical Education - Outdoor Education
Have students compare the star quality of Ferguson Jenkins with modern-day athletes like Wayne Gretzky and Sidney Crosby. Did the personal nature of this film alter your perceptions about professional athletes? Discuss Jenkins’ comment regarding equal treatment as opposed to fair treatment. To learn more about Ferguson Jenkins’ award-winning career since this film was made, go to Canada’s Walk of Fame.