In the chaos of the post-modern world we still need the village psychic. Throughout the Maritime provinces of eastern Canada, neighbourhood fortune-tellers and village wise-women are alive and well, and their practices have survived intact. These women often work at the kitchen table--and today, they're more sought-after than ever. They're seemingly average people who don't put on airs and affectations, but who go about doing some rather extraordinary things with very little fuss. Using herbal preparations, spells, astrology, or tools as simple as tea leaves and tap water, they look into the past, present and future -- and offer tips on coping with what life throws our way. It's a fascinating tradition--and director Donna Davies has been immersed in it since childhood. Join her in The Kitchen Goddess as she takes you on a personal visit into the worlds of seven Maritime psychics.
This feature-length film tells the story of the passion between Marie de l’Incarnation, a mid-seventeenth-century nun and God, her "divine spouse." Fusing documentary and acting by Marie Tifo, whom we follow as she rehearses for this demanding role, the film paints an astonishing portrait of this mystic who abandoned her son and left France to build a convent in Canada, where she became the first female writer in New France.
This feature documentary records the turbulent history and remarkable achievements of women in religion, from pre-Christian Celtic communities to the radical sisters of the 1980s. The history of nuns mirrors that of all women - in what we are taught about the past, women are almost invisible. Although today's one million nuns outnumber priests two to one, they still struggle to be heard by the all-male Roman Catholic hierarchy from which they are excluded. In Behind the Veil: Nuns, contemporary nuns speak candidly of their lives, their challenges, and their predecessors.
This animated short challenges enduring myths, spawned by fairy tales and romances, about women in medieval society. It explores the differences and similarities between that distant period and our own, and shows what medieval women’s lives were really like.
The followers of religious leader Jacob Hutter live in farm communities, devoutly holding to the rules their founder laid down four centuries ago. Through the kindness of a Hutterite colony in Alberta, this film, in black and white, was made inside the community and shows all aspects of the Hutterites' daily life.
This documentary is a salute to 35,000 years of the goddess-worshipping religions of the ancient past. The film features Merlin Stone, Carol Christ, Luisah Teish and Jean Bolen, all of whom link the loss of goddess-centric societies with today's environmental crisis. This is the first part of a 3-part series that includes The Burning Times and Full Circle.
Filmed in the Indian Himalayas and in Canada, A Song for Tibet tells the dramatic story of the efforts by Tibetans in exile, including the Dalai Lama, to save their homeland and preserve their heritage against overwhelming odds. Since the invasion of their territory by China in the late 1950s, Tibetans have been struggling for cultural and political survival.
This feature documentary invites you to partake in a discussion between 4 Egyptian women of different political and religious stripe. Amina, Safynaz, Shahenda and Wedad are Muslim, Christian, or non-religious, but they are first and foremost friends. They listen to one another's views and argue openly, without ever breaking the bond that unites them. How do we get along with each other when our views collide? A timely question, and a universal one. Four Women of Egypt takes on this challenge, and their confrontation redefines tolerance.
This short documentary is a celebration of life on planet Earth. Made from haunting visual images selected from 50 years of NFB productions, the film looks at human beings, their place on earth, and their deep interconnection with all other beings. Evocations of forces that threaten the planet and all its inhabitants also offer avenues for reflection. Musical score by Loreena McKennitt.
Using original animation, archival footage and personal interviews, this full-length documentary portrays the multiple relationships Canadian Muslim women entertain with Islam’s place of worship, the mosque. Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. In North America, a large number of converts are women. Many are drawn to the religion because of its emphasis on social justice and spiritual equality between the sexes. Yet, many mosques force women to pray behind barriers, separate from men, and some do not even permit women to enter the building. Exploring all sides of the issue, the film examines the space – both physical and social – granted to women in mosques across the country.
Me and the Mosque was produced as part of the Reel Diversity Competition for emerging filmmakers of colour. Reel Diversity is a National Film Board of Canada initiative in partnership with CBC Newsworld.
This short documentary filmed at Saint Boniface General Hospital, in Manitoba, focuses on the work of 2 women: Gisèle Fontaine, who helps women in childbirth; and Louise Saurette, who attends the dying. Birth and death, moments of transition that involve a transformative journey, have much in common. The midwife and the chaplain offer themselves as guides on the painful and essential path of letting go.
This documentary short was produced as part of the Tremplin program, which enables young Francophone filmmakers to make a first production in a professional context.
This documentary takes an in-depth look at the witch hunts that swept Europe just a few hundred years ago. False accusations and trials led to massive torture and burnings at the stake and ultimately to the destruction of an organic way of life. The film questions whether the widespread violence against women and the neglect of our environment today can be traced back to those times. Part two of a series of three films on women and spirituality, which includes Goddess Remembered and Full Circle.