This feature-length documentary sheds light on "Karelia Fever," a phenomenon of the 1930s that led many Finnish Canadians to a tragic fate in the Soviet Union. Taimi Pitkanen last saw her brother Aate in Leningrad in 1931. She was returning to Canada from Moscow while her brother was heading to Soviet Karelia, where his skills as an English-Finnish electrician were in demand.
He wrote letters home until 1941, when Hitler attacked the USSR. After that, no one in Canada heard from him. Some 60 years later, letters (written but unmailed) were discovered that revealed his fate and brought together Taimi and Alfred, the son Aate never had a chance to meet. Alfred follows his father's journey from Thunder Bay to Karelia. With him, we learn about Aate and one of the great dreams of the 20th century.
They raised children, baked cakes... and built world-class fighter planes. Sixty years ago, thousands of women from Thunder Bay and the Prairies donned trousers, packed lunch pails and took up rivet guns to participate in the greatest industrial war effort in Canadian history. Like many other factories across the country from 1939 to 1945, the shop floor at Fort William's Canadian Car and Foundry was transformed from an all-male workforce to one with forty percent female workers.
This short documentary looks at Governor General Georges Vanier: his military service in two world wars, his diplomatic service between the wars and his investiture as Canada's 19th Governor General.
In 1945, Great Britain and the United States organized a bombing raid that devastated the ancient city of Dresden. This short documentary returns exactly 40 years after its destruction and celebrates its renaissance with the re-opening of one of the most beautiful opera houses in Europe. One guest at this gala was the Canadian navigator of one of the bomber planes, returning to Dresden on a mission of peace that brought him face-to-face with the people who were once his enemies.
This feature-length documentary focuses on the Canadian pilots who served in the air force bomber command in Britain during World War II. From the outset, it was clear to Britain that air combat would be the key factor in the battle against Hitler's Germany. Told they would be targeting factories and military targets, the airmen were actually ordered to drop their payloads on civilians in an attempt to annihilate the enemy. Using interviews, re-enactments, old footage and photographs, Brian McKenna's film depicts the war from the perspective of the pilots.
This 1964 documentary returns to the battlefields where over 100,000 Canadian soldiers lost their lives in the First and Second World Wars. The film also visits cemeteries where servicemen are buried. Filmed from Hong Kong to Sicily, this documentary is designed to show Canadians places they have reason to know but may not be able to visit. Produced for the Canadian Department of Veteran Affairs by the renowned documentary filmmaker Donald Brittain.
High Wire examines the reasons that Canada declined to take part in the 2003 US-led military mission in Iraq, shining a spotlight on the diplomatic tug of war that took place behind the scenes with our neighbours to the south, who have often adopted an interventionist foreign policy to serve their own economic and geopolitical interests. Canada’s historic refusal could have had disastrous consequences, but a number of key players and other analysts remind us of the terrible price we pay when diplomacy fails.
The filmmaker did not suspect that meeting a philosopher would have such a profound effect. It compelled her to shed light on the exceptional life of Raymond Klibansky, his uncommon destiny and his path to humanity. As a German Jewish philosopher of action, he lived in times of upheaval, war and hate. As a young man, he moved in the circles of Karl Jaspers, Erwin Panofsky, Marianne Weber, Ernst Cassirer and Albert Enstein. Early in his career, he made his mark as a historian of ideas and a philosopher, and his work was known around the world. Then came the Nazi lie, which he condemned and, better yet, fought. In the prime of his life, he was Chief Intelligence Officer in the British Secret Service during World War Two. He moved to Montreal in 1946, where he has continued to promote tolerance and fight for freedom on all fronts.
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.
Ages 15 to 17
Civics/Citizenship - Ideologies
History - World War II
Have students investigate Stalin's Great Purges and examine the factors that contributed to his success. Have students write a research essay on the Winter War and its resolutions.