In the 1940s thousands of immigrants are coming from Europe to Canada offering strength and skills in exchange for hope and a new life. 'The long night is ended, the morning draws nigh,' sums up the feelings of those who are sped through immigration formalities on their way to a fresh existence. Though the language may be different, these new Canadians soon find things in Canada that remind them of Holland, Poland or Belgium. Some immigrants carry on with their old trades--sewing, farming, diamond cutting. Others, on huge projects such as Des Joachims, use their muscles to help build their adopted homeland, while their love of culture and their skilled professions will make valuable contributions to Canada in the future.
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.
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.
Filmed at the Wing Fong Farm in Ontario, this documentary follows the tilling, planting and harvesting of Asian vegetables destined for Chinese markets and restaurants. On 80 acres of land, Lau King-Fai, her son and a half-dozen migrant Mexican workers care for the plants. For Yeung Kwan, her son, the farm represents personal and financial independence. For his mother, it is an oasis of peace. For the Mexican workers, it provides jobs that help support their children back home.
A blend of drama and documentary, this film follows several people caught up in the turmoil of the modern world. The drama centres on a woman who has burned out and who holds up her own despair – and her attempts to rebuild her life – as a mirror to the rest of us. With a blend of gravity and humour, Sylvie Groulx's film shows the absurdity of a society dedicated to the cult of speed at all costs.
This feature documentary zooms in on Montreal’s Côte-des-Neiges borough, where over 75 ethnic groups live side by side in a dizzying swirl of sound and colour. One day, filmmaker Lucie Lachapelle began knocking on the doors that isolated her from her neighbours. The result is a vibrant film about freedom and uprootedness set to urban music composed by Montreal jazz artist Harold Faustin.
This short film from director Donald Brittain tackles the subject of racial prejudice in employment, in a particularly witty fashion. It takes the form of a fantasy in the mythical country of Adanac, featuring arch bigot Jonathan Mole, Mrs. Platitude, Professor Short Sight and other characters.
This documentary examines the history and current reality of Toronto’s Flemingdon Park. Now a subsidized housing project, it was built in 1961 as a trendy urban utopia. A decade later it was sold, and Flemingdon became home to refugees and new immigrants. Once a model of urban planning, Flemingdon Park's flip side is a history of violence and racism that residents have fought to overcome. Yet despite challenges, the community succeeds in making people from around the world feel at home in a different kind of utopia–one where differences are celebrated and new visions are possible.
This documentary travels the migration corridor forged between Sherbrooke, Quebec, and the town of Brooks, Alberta, by French-speaking Africans. Most have come from the Democratic Republic of Congo, some by way of refugee camps in Uganda and Tanzania. Unable to find employment in Quebec, they travelled out West. An interweaving of personal stories and the filmmaker’s own trips back and forth through the corridor offer an honest look at how much work is yet to be done to successfully integrate these newcomers.
This documentary follows a community action group led by American community organizer and writer Saul Alinsky in Rochester, New York. Together, they confront the community's largest employer on the issue of corporate responsibility and the employment of minority groups.