From the beginning of the Second World War in 1939, Mackenzie King tried to avoid conscription. Most English Canadians thought young men should be sent to fight, while most French Canadians vehemently disagreed. This same division had nearly torn the country apart during the First World War. King had to make a decision in the final year of the war. This docudrama combines archival footage with excerpts from The King Chronicles, a dramatic series written and directed by Donald Brittain.
Some scenes contain graphic language.
In Part 1 of this 3-part documentary series, director Donald Brittain chronicles the early years of Pierre Elliott Trudeau and René Lévesque. From their university days in the 1950s to 1967 when Lévesque left the Liberal Party and Trudeau became the federal Minister of Justice, Brittain attempts to get at the heart of what makes these men so fascinating.
Part 2 of this 3-part documentary series about Pierre Elliott Trudeau and René Lévesque covers the years between 1967 and 1977, a colourful decade that saw Trudeau win three federal elections, the 1970 October Crisis and the sweeping rise to power of the Parti Québécois.
The final instalment of this 3-part documentary series about Pierre Elliott Trudeau and René Lévesque spans the decade between 1976 and 1986. The film reveals the turbulent, behind-the-scenes drama during the Quebec referendum and the repatriation of the Canadian Constitution. In doing so, it also traces both Trudeau's and Lévesque's fall from power.
This feature documentary traces the political career of T.C. (Tommy) Douglas, former premier of Saskatchewan and leader of the New Democratic Party, who was voted the Greatest Canadian in 2004 for his devotion to social causes, his charm and his powers of persuasion. Known as the "Father of Medicare," this one-time champion boxer and fiery preacher entered politics in the 1930s and never looked back.
This feature documentary provides a gripping retrospective of United States-Canada relationships through a study of successive presidents and prime ministers. Using archival film footage, it demonstrates that Canadian prime ministers, from John A. Macdonald down, all began their tenures by making overtures to their American counterparts. Attitudes and outcomes have varied widely. The almost comic antipathy between Kennedy and Diefenbaker, for instance, is as palpable here as is the folksy camaraderie of Reagan and Mulroney. Part four of Reckoning: The Political Economy of Canada series.
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 feature-length documentary paints a lively portrait of Father of Confederation and first premier of Newfoundland Joseph Roberts Smallwood, or "Joey," as he is known to most Canadians.
Following one of Canada’s most colourful political figures during a two-and-a-half-month period that included a stormy Liberal leadership convention, the film reveals a man misunderstood even by his close associates.
This feature-length fiction, originally produced as a television miniseries and based on the novel Nuages sur les brûlés by Hervé Biron, explores the colonization of northern Quebec during the Depression-era 1930s. These historical dramas relive the toil, hardship and unexpected rewards of the pioneer. Folk singer Félix Leclerc appears in each episode. Part I: Encounters with the inhospitable wilderness while clearing a townsite. Part II: Struggles for leadership; log cabins are built and the women arrive. Part III: The dangers of frontier life: forest fire, accident, anxiety about bankruptcy, lack of tools, hard labour. Part IV: Big steps forward: the curé brings in teachers and is in turn presented with a new, though rough-hewn, church.
A documentary account of the five-week visit of Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh to Canada and the United States in the fall of 1951. Stops on the royal tour include Québec City, the National War Memorial in Ottawa, the Trenton Air Force Base in Toronto, a performance of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet in Regina and visits to Calgary and Edmonton. The royal train crosses the Rockies and makes stops in several small towns. The royal couple boards HMCS Crusader in Vancouver and watches Native dances in Thunderbird Park, Victoria. They are then welcomed to the United States by President Truman. The remainder of the journey includes visits to Montreal, the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, a steel mill in Sydney, Nova Scotia and Portugal Cove, Newfoundland.
For more background information about this film, please visit the NFB.ca blog.
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 documentary introduces us to thousands of Indigenous Canadians who enlisted and fought alongside their countrymen and women during World War II, even though they could not be conscripted. Ironically, while they fought for the freedom of others, they were being denied equality in their own country and returned home to find their land seized.Loretta Todd's poignant film offers forth the testimony of those who were there, and how they managed to heal.
Ages 14 to 17
Study Guide - Guide 1
Civics/Citizenship - Human Rights
History - World War II
History and Citizenship Education - Modernization of Quebec Society (1929-1980)
Social Studies - Canadian Politics and Government
Research conscription and explain what it entails during wartime. Explain the stance on conscription taken by the French Canadians in Quebec and by Prime Minister Mackenzie King. Identify the position taken by English Canadians. Discuss Canada’s role in the Allied victory in Sicily and the invasion of Normandy with its disastrous results for King. How does King eventually solve the conscription question?