Filmmaker Albert Kish revisits Montreal's St Lawrence Boulevard in the '70s. The street, also known as "The Main," is a little Europe with many languages, foods and small courtesies that make a stranger feel at home.
Interweaving poetry, painting, photography, music and sculpture, this feature documentary is an innovative look at the lives and work of Canadian men and women artists of Italian origin. Broaching issues of identity and culture, the film explores the relationship between the immigrant experience and the creative process.
This documentary tells the story of a young man’s struggle to balance his African traditions and new Canadian home. Arinze Eze was born in Canada and raised in Nigeria. An engineer by trade, he returned to his birthplace after 20 years. There, he starts a new career in the arts and falls in love with Canadian woman. All is well until his parents come for a visit. How will they react to this new life?
This drama portrays an immigrant family and the mingled feelings of hope and despair that characterize their life in a strange land. An Italian wife joins her husband in a large Canadian city. After two years in Canada the husband feels his dream of a better life is close to realization, but his wife feels that differences of language and custom are insurmountable. How such feelings are dispelled by simple gestures of friendship from Canadian-born neighbours gives a heartening conclusion to the film.
This feature documentary studies the different faces of Montreal’s Greek community in 1969. Instead of giving voice to the businessmen and well-integrated few, the film highlights the cultural and economic problems encountered by new immigrants and their families.
This documentary brings together a group of long lost classmates who used to belong to an after-school film club. Formed at the initiative of a Grade 8 teacher eager to pass along his love of cinema, the club attracted a klatch of immigrant kids eager to embrace their new country. Stimulating and creative, the club was a complete departure from anything they had known and provided a safe haven from the harsh world around them. Together, they made a tiny 8mm award-winner called Ohh Canada.
Twenty-five years later, the group looks back to marvel at their childhood dreams and the bond they share with the teacher who brought them together.
This film was produced as part of the Reel Diversity Competition for emerging filmmakers of colour. Reel Diversity is a National Film Board of Canada initiative in partnership with CBC Newsworld.
Over the course of a decade Brooks, Alberta, transformed from a socially conservative, primarily white town to one of the most diverse places in Canada as immigrants and refugees flocked to find jobs at the Lakeside Packers slaughterhouse. This film is a portrait of those people working together and adapting to change through the first-ever strike at Lakeside.
This short documentary shows the struggle that young immigrants have in a small community unaccustomed to cultural diversity, and their frustration at not having their skills recognized by the job market and their peers. Hanging On is part of the Work For All project 2006, an NFB and HRSDC-Labour initiative to combat racism in the workplace.
In 1992 a young Iranian student hanged himself on the outskirts of a small Ontario town. Having escaped the Ayatollah's regime and found a new home in Canada, he could not escape his past. In this film, Masoud Raouf documents the experiences of Iranian-Canadians - former political prisoners like himself - who were active in the Iranian democratic movement and continue to struggle with the past.
For more background information about this film, please visit the NFB.ca blog.
A bold and eclectic cinematic style defines the work of filmmaker Michka Saäl and her friend, writer Nadine Ltaif as they journey from childhoods in the Middle East to their chosen home of Montréal. Saäl is Jewish, Ltaif is Arab. Together they overcome the divisive prejudices of their upbringing and embark on an engaging search for clarity, familiarity and historical significance among the immigrant communities of Montréal. Saäl uses super-8 home movies, old photographs, dramatizations and casual conversations to cross personal and political boundaries, giving voice to the varied ancestries of us all. In French with English subtitles.
Ages 12 to 17
Civics/Citizenship - Federal/Provincial Government
Diversity - Diversity in Communities
Geography - The Arctic
Social Studies - Social History
Study geography of Montreal region; identify areas mentioned in the film and examine what makes them popular with new Canadians. Discuss benefits/drawbacks of new immigrants “sticking together” in a new city. Research history and evolution of language laws in Quebec; what impact would these policies have on immigrant populations? Why does Quebec have such laws? Have students present which family/cultural traditions they would keep if they moved to a foreign country.