This documentary from 1980 depicts a factory community in China where over 6000 workers process, spin and weave raw cotton into 90 million yards of high-quality cloth per year. Also seen are the workers' residential, social, recreational and educational facilities, all located on factory property. The film presents an engrossing study of a lifestyle that is very different from that of the Western world.
The NFB's 63rd Oscar®-nominated film.
Shui-Bo Wang's feature documentary is a visual autobiography of an artist who grew up in China during the historic upheavals of the ‘60s, '70s and '80s. A rich collage of original artwork and family and archival photos presents a personal perspective on the turbulent Cultural Revolution and the years that followed. For Shui-Bo Wang and others of his generation, Tiananmen Square was the central symbol of the new China – a society to be based on equality and cooperation. This animated documentary artfully traces Shui-Bo's roots and his own life journey as he struggles to sort through ideology and arrive at truth.
This feature documentary is a biography of Dr. Norman Bethune, the Canadian doctor who served with the loyalists during the Spanish Civil War and with the North Chinese Army during the Sino-Japanese War. In Spain he pioneered the world's first mobile blood-transfusion service; in China his work behind battle lines to save the wounded has made him a legendary figure.
Tom Radford's documentary chronicles the life of Chester Ronning, best remembered for his close and longstanding relationship with China. Over the course of his life, Ronning worked as a cowboy, ambassador, college president, missionary and a member of the Alberta legislature. But throughout all of his careers, his lifelong ambition was to explain China to the western world. His story is a rare example of the meeting of East and West in a compassionate, remarkable man.
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.
In this documentary, the members of the University of British Columbia's Thunderbirds hockey team travel to China to demonstrate their skills to the new teams in the East. While hockey there still has a long way to go, this film leaves no doubt that the Chinese players are up to the challenge. A film propelled by discoveries, it goes a long way to providing insight into the differences between East and West.
For more background information about this film, please visit the NFB.ca blog.
This feature documentary offers a shocking look at the living and working conditions of Haitian agricultural laborers in the Dominican Republic. Each year, some 20 000 workers cross the border to cut sugar cane, lured by promises of good money. Instead, they toil up to 14 hours per day and live in unhealthy, cramped camps without running water, electricity, medical or educational facilities.
This full-length documentary tells the story of modern Korea, a nation divided in half. The psychic scar shared by families divided during the Korean War in the 1950s is symbolized by the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) dividing communist North from capitalist South. Along this infamous border, filmmaker Min Sook Lee begins an emotion-charged journey into Korea’s broken heart, exploring the rhetoric and realism of reunification through the extraordinary stories of ordinary people. An eloquent tale of longing and hope,
This short documentary follows a group of students from Hamilton, Ontario, on a rare three-week “tour” of China in 1972. These teenagers were the first North American students to visit China since 1949, when Mao Tse Tung’s Communists overthrew the Nationalist Government of Chiang Kai-shek.
This documentary gives us a glimpse inside the influential but little-known community of Vancouver’s Hong Kong Chinese. Prejudices fall by the wayside as we discover the community's way of life and the vital role it plays in the Canadian and world economy through a moving, intimate portrait of the Lam family, who arrived here in 1991.
In this feature documentary, 6 student activists visit 36 Canadian towns to take on one giant corporation. Filmed over 2 summers, these young crusaders (plus a gonzo journalist) try to raise public awareness about Wal-Mart's business practices and their effect on cities and towns across Canada. With youthful passion and often hilarious cultural jams, this film takes us to the frontlines of the ongoing debate over the company's increasing dominance in the Canadian retail market.
Ages 14 to 17
Diversity - Diversity in Communities
History and Citizenship Education - Culture and Currents of Thought (1500-present)
Have a discussion with students about the lifestyle depicted in this film. Would students agree that this factory is its own little world where there is never a need to go beyond its gates? One can get everything there, from daycare to a university-level education. In a written response, have students write why it would be appealing to work at this place and why it wouldn't. The teacher should arrange an outing for the class to visit a textile factory so students can see the spinning and weaving of a raw material into a finished product.