Bretons descend from the Celts, and France once banned their language and culture. An eloquent example for understanding, in reverse, the assimilation of certain French-speaking communities in the Americas. Philippe Durand refutes the mechanics of colonialism, and Emmanuel Kerjean and Lomig Denniou answer with melodies and call-and-response songs (Kan ha diskan).
Le son des Français d'Amérique Series (English Version)
Louisiana's Creole culture helped shape the New World and contributed to the emergence of jazz. But what remains of this unique, mixed-race society, with roots in France, Africa, the Caribbean, Spain and America? Maroon searches for the origins of this little-understood and endangered culture and show how it is doing today. In this second part of his La piste Amérique series, documentary filmmaker André Gladu continues his exploration of the Francophone presence in North America. Maroon is a vibrant travelogue that goes back into history in order to shed light on the present. In French with English subtitles.
This feature documentary pays homage to the special character of an enduring people: the Acadians. Two hundred years after Expulsion of the Acadians by the British (1755–1764), Acadian culture is still very much alive. But why do Acadians—whose ancestors founded the first colony in North America—have to keep making a racket to tell the world they're still here?
This feature-length documentary is the unrehearsed story of what happened when old-timers from Île-aux-Coudres, a small island in the St. Lawrence River, were persuaded to revive a local whale-catching practice. Through the magic of words and the mystery of the catch, the film uncovers a spirituality rooted in the moon and the rhythm of the tides. More than a documentary, it is a fresco of the myths and legends among the traditional fishing communities of Quebec. In French with English subtitles.
This film was made by Pierre Perrault, Michel Brault and Marcel Carrière.
For more background info on this film, visit the NFB.ca blog.
This short documentary records the celebration and ritual surrounding a snowshoe competition in Sherbrooke in the late 1950s. The film marked the beginning of a new approach to reality in documentary and prefigures the trademark style of the NFB's newly formed French Unit. Today, Les raquetteurs is considered a precursor to the birth of direct cinema. In French with English subtitles.
This feature documentary uses music to reveal the many faces of jazz, New Orleans style. Colourful and alive with music, the film captures the street life and traditions of this vibrant city and explores the roots of the music that springs from the soul of the African-American community.
Ozias Leduc (1864-1955) was one of Quebec's most important visual artists. Largely self-taught, Leduc's wide-ranging painting, writing and photography have both a symbolic and spiritual dimension. This biography illuminates Leduc's life by drawing on the writings of two of his friends, writer Robert de Roquebrune (1889-1978) and painter Paul-Émile Borduas (1905-1960). Their recollections paint the portrait of an enigmatic and reserved man who summed up his vocation with the words, "The artist's sole mission is to give expression to the Beautiful. The Beautiful as free as space and time."
Taking the form of a conversation between a young teacher at a French school in Moncton and her students, the film shows how hard it is for francophones to preserve their language in a society where English is everywhere and has been for centuries. In French with English subtitles.
This feature-length documentary is an on-the-spot record of the student protests that shook the Université de Moncton in 1968-69. Led by students desiring greater recognition of the French fact in New Brunswick, the protests spawned street marches, petitions and a sit-in, but also many discussions among students seeking to re-establish an Acadian identity.
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.
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.
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.