This short film looks at how the introduction of computers into the workplace in 1969 served as a threat to the white-collar workers whose jobs they might replace. Aiming to offer a balanced view, the film looks at the situation from both the perspective of the employees concerned and that of management.
This documentary looks at the microchip, an American invention exploited by the Japanese that caused a second industrial revolution. The devastating effect on millions of human lives is related through interviews with some of the newly jobless in Hamilton, Ontario. Using the example of Japan for contrast, host James Laxer demonstrates that the cost of technological advances need not be so high if their effects are foreseen and planned for. Part 2 of the series Reckoning: The Political Economy of Canada.
This short documentary is a portrait of the early era of computing and the process and implications of the digitization of large amounts of information. Examining the arduous work of assessing and documenting the geographical landscape, including sampling and analysis of soil, forestry, timber, wildlife, resources, industrial sites, and many other aspects, we see that human beings alone couldn't handle the vast amount of information that is collected. A new kind of computer (an “instant library”), the Canada Land Inventory Geo-information System, was developed to help manage and develop Canadian land. This film examines the workings of this new and mysterious machine.
"Today the rate of change and the areas of life molded by it are increasing astronomically ..." states the introduction to this film. Impressions of all that constitutes the environment of modern man are conveyed in the film in a kaleidoscope of movement and sound--a montage of pictures from the urban and industrial scene, reflecting the creativity and inventiveness of which people are capable but which in turn demand adaptation and adjustment if we are to survive.
This short documentary examines the changing relations between labour and management in the long-established company town of Trail, BC, in which 90% of the workforce is employed by Cominco, the world’s largest lead-zinc smelter. The metal workers in the town are outspoken about the health risks associated with their line of work, and a debate about unionization ensues. The days of paternalistic management are gone, and the emphasis is now on participation and involvement. An eventual strike over dissatisfaction with labour relations turns violent when management, union executives, and workers clash over competing interests.
This animated short uses humour to demonstrate how the problem of seasonal employment could be mitigated if industry made use of the increased labour supply during winter lay-offs. Luckily, we have an expert to guide us through the process – a gentleman thief and safecracker, whose highly skilled profession gives him a lot of insight into business… and safes.
This feature documentary focuses on the reality of life before, during, and after the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and the profound effects the economic agreements between big business and government can have on human lives.
Filmed over a three year period in Canada, the United States, and Mexico, this documentary poses a sobering question: In this global war of cut-rate economies, are people on the losing side?
This documentary presents a few individuals for whom the Internet has become a way to connect with like-minded souls in surprising ways: a cyber punk based on an anti-aircraft rig in the English Channel who operates a rogue Web server, a monk developing "wireless prayer technology," a "gamer" who re-creates himself in an online game, a retired couple living in an Internet-controlled seniors' complex and a divorcée who exchanges vows online with a man she's never met.
This feature documentary about education explores the mid-century state of learning in the classrooms of North America. New approaches to learning and the emerging technologies that facilitate them are explored, including the new roles of the computer, tape recorder and television. Directed by Quebec cinema giant Claude Jutra (Mon Oncle Antoine), the film was produced with the collaboration of researchers studying all forms of education, from infancy to adulthood.
This feature documentary is an inquiry into Canada's economic troubles of the 1970 and '80s. The film summarizes the facts at hand, including some pre-NAFTA speculation about economic dependency on the United States. At roughly thirty percent, the Canada of a few decades ago was more foreign-owned than any other country in the world. Still, however, a great and stubborn national pride in our cultural and social idiosyncrasies persists, resulting in the confidence to look elsewhere besides the United States for economic alliances and models. This episode is the fifth and last part of the series Reckoning: The Political Economy of Canada.
A blend of drama and documentary, this film follows several people caught up in the turmoil of the modern world. The drama centres on a woman who has burned out and who holds up her own despair – and her attempts to rebuild her life – as a mirror to the rest of us. With a blend of gravity and humour, Sylvie Groulx's film shows the absurdity of a society dedicated to the cult of speed at all costs.