With a unique blend of dramatic action and behind-the-scenes documentary footage, filmmaker John Walker shares the multi-layered story of British explorer Sir John Franklin and his crew of 128 men, who perished in the Arctic ice during an ill-fated attempt to discover the Northwest Passage, and John Rae, the Scottish doctor who in 1851, discovered their dismal fate. Rae's dark report, which described the crew’s madness and cannibalism, did not sit well with Sir John's widow, Lady Franklin, nor with many others in British society, including Charles Dickens. They waged a bitter public campaign to discredit Rae's version of events and mark an entire nation of northern Inuit with the label of murderous cannibals. A stunning face-to-face meeting between the great-great grandson of Charles Dickens and Tagak Curley, an honoured Inuit statesman who challenges the fraudulent history, vaults the story from the past into the present and we are witness to history in the making.
This short film realistically portrays the conflict Henry Hudson experienced when he went in search of an open water route to the Orient, and no one would follow him. What he discovered instead was an inland sea, a discovery that ended in tragedy.
This documentary follows four scientists and their Native guides into the unmapped wilderness of the Ungava Peninsula, in northern Quebec. Crossing this territory in large canoes, they collect samples of Arctic flora and rocks, take readings of soil temperature and record the correct bearings for rivers and lakes en route. The keen excitement of opening a new chapter in Canadian exploration is evident throughout the film.
This short documentary recounts a 2000-km expedition undertaken by 7 rangers (both Inuit and non-Native) and a female filmmaker to raise a flag on the northernmost tip of Canadian soil, 412 km from the North Pole. With a mesmerizing soundtrack by Nunavut-born singer Tanya Tagaq and spectacular footage of the Arctic landscape, This Land captures the epic adventure with raw immediacy.
Filmed on the great Mackenzie River, this short fiction film recreates the amazing voyage of the man who gave his name to it. Following the path outlined in Mackenzie's journal, the film depicts his arduous journey by canoe all the way to the salt water of the Arctic Ocean - one of the great epics of northern exploration.
This feature-length documentary offers a glimpse at the unknown world that lies beneath the Arctic ice. Arctic IV follows Dr. Joseph MacInnis, a specialist in underwater medicine, as he probes and explores the polar depths. Filmed at Resolute Bay, Dr. MacInnis and his team must chip through over 2 metres of ice and dive into the frigid, watery depths at the North Pole - all in the name of science.
This film tells the story of the Red River settlement, now the city of Winnipeg, Manitoba. The pioneer venture of Thomas Douglas, Earl of Selkirk, to establish a colony brought opposition from the North West Company, the Hudson's Bay Company’s powerful rival. A fine cast of actors portrays the ensuing dispute.
For almost a century and a half, Her Majesty's Ship Breadalbane lay wrecked and forgotten under the Arctic ice. In the spring of 1983, noted undersea explorer Dr. Joseph MacInnis led a team of twenty men on one of the most difficult, dangerous and unforgettable undersea adventures of the century--to put a diver on board the sunken vessel and recover some artifacts. This film, introduced by H.R.H. Prince Charles, provides a stunning visual account of this historic expedition.
This film is a reconstruction of Robert Baldwin’s involvement in the Upper Canada Rebellion of 1837. Though bound to the cause of constitutional reform by principle, Baldwin’s heart was with the rebels and in the midst of armed revolt, he withdrew to fight a lonely battle with himself.
The story of the Jesuit martyrs who lived with the Wendat converts in the region near what is now Midland, Ontario. The film is of wide interest since it reconstructs a period of Canadian history, especially of Indigenous life, at the very beginning of European settlement. The village and the Jesuits' buildings are exact models from archeologists' reconstructions. The story is based on the Jesuit Relations, the actual journals of mission life that still make for thrilling reading.
(Please note that Mission of Fear was produced in 1965 and reflects the attitudes and thinking of its era. To modern audiences, parts of the film may be perceived as offensive, but it must be seen as a cultural product of the era in which it was produced. The perspectives of Canadians (and the NFB) have evolved and become more conscious of Indigenous rights, realities and points of view since the making of the film. Through its rich collection of Indigenous-made films, available at Indigenous Cinema, the NFB continues to strive to challenge stereotypes about Indigenous people and accurately depict the diverse experiences of Indigenous communities. )