Kathy worked as a nurse in Greece and then came to Canada. She and her family live in northern Alberta, where they are developing a farm. Kathy works outside the home as a nurse, sews for the children, maintains the house, and helps with the farm work.
Filmed at the Wing Fong Farm in Ontario, this documentary follows the tilling, planting and harvesting of Asian vegetables destined for Chinese markets and restaurants. On 80 acres of land, Lau King-Fai, her son and a half-dozen migrant Mexican workers care for the plants. For Yeung Kwan, her son, the farm represents personal and financial independence. For his mother, it is an oasis of peace. For the Mexican workers, it provides jobs that help support their children back home.
Alanis Obomsawin, an Indigenous woman who earns her living by singing and making films, is the mother of an adopted child. She talks about her life, her people, and her responsibilities as a single parent. Her observations shake some of our cultural assumptions.
Joy is a research biologist, a consultant to a large company. She is also a widow with two school-age children. In discussing her own dilemmas she speaks for many other women. "The powers that be know that women do work, but they turn a deaf ear." Apart from "discrimination against women," Joy sees the absence of universal day care as a loss for children too.
In this short documentary, three French-speaking women (from Senegal, Mexico and Belgium) examine their own experiences as immigrants in Vancouver, where they raise their children alone. With strength and resilience, these women take up the challenge of rebuilding their lives to provide a “new world of possibility” for their children, while seeking to find their place in Canadian society.
This film was made as part of the Tremplin program, in collaboration with Radio-Canada.
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 short film is told in the first person by Rose, a Métis woman from northern Alberta who has left a difficult life in the city to rediscover her roots by returning to her Woodland Cree community. Rose reveals the racism, isolation and health issues she faced when trying to make a life for herself outside her home community, and how she is able to help others now that she has reconnected to her culture.The film is part of a 1970s series of eleven films title Working Mothers by producer/director Kathleen Shannon, exposing inequality for women in accessing education, childcare, and equal pay. These films led to the creation of Studio D at the National Film Board, the world’s first feminist production studio.
Made in 1975, as part of the Challenge for Change program, this film takes a long, hard look at marriage and motherhood as expressed in the views of a group of young girls and married women. Their opinions cover a wide range. At regular intervals glossy advertisements extolling romance, weddings, babies, flash across the screen, in strong contrast to the words that are being spoken. The film ends on a sobering thought: the solution to dashed expectations could be as simple as growing up before marriage.
Laila Paattinen is a working woman. Tired of low-paying jobs, she completed a five-month course in dry-wall installation. Because she had chosen a non-traditional job for women, she ran into resistance in the marketplace. She finally solved her problems by opening her own dry-wall application business. A useful film for women seeking non-traditional jobs.
This feature documentary shines a light on a group of women who are passionate about their non-traditional job – trucking. Filmed in 1999, it follows the women all across Quebec as they do their job and address the big-ticket items in life: love, family, freedom, and solitude. Filled with humour and the contagious good spirits of the women involved.
This documentary from Min Sook Lee (Tiger Spirit) follows a poverty-stricken father from Central Mexico, along with several of his countrymen, as they make their annual migration to southern Ontario to pick tomatoes. For 8 months a year, the town's population absorbs 4,000 migrant workers who toil under conditions, and for wages, that no local would accept. Yet despite a fear of repercussions, the workers voice their desire for dignity and respect.
Shot at the Pierre Boucher Hospital in Montreal, this film takes us into the emergency room to see how our healthcare system is holding up. What it reveals is a powerful indictment of management that sees only the bottom line while human lives are at stake.