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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
This feature documentary casts a curious and critical eye at North American discourses about motherhood since the mid-20th century. Through conversations with seven mothers, a fascinating selection of archival footage and stills from the 1950s, as well as some very candid and funny home movies, this film offers new ways of thinking about what it means to be a good mom.
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.
In this feature-length documentary, Marilyn Waring demystifies the language of economics by defining it as a value system in which all goods and activities are related only to their monetary value. As a result, unpaid work (usually performed by women) is unrecognized while activities that may be environmentally and socially detrimental are deemed productive. Waring maps out an alternative vision based on the idea of time as the new currency.
In this animated short from the Hothouse 5 series, a lonely old lady sits in an empty room knitting. As her thoughts wander, her dreams take the shape of fanciful knitted creatures and objects that cocoon her in a pattern of wonder and comfort.
Produced as part of the 5th edition of the NFB’s Hothouse apprenticeship.
Julia Kwan's short film captures the experience of a young woman as she travels to a new country. As summer opens into spring, mother and daughter build a life together. The taste and texture of each season, whether the ice-cream smell of summer, the crisp birch air of autumn, or the warmth of winter dumplings -- are lovingly rendered in animation, sound and image. Throughout the passage of time, the persistence of love endures, as resolute and unchanging as the cycle of the season.
This film was produced in partnership with VANOC and Canada CODE for the 2010 Cultural Olympiad.