This short documentary by Terence Macartney-Filgate focuses on the never-ending pilgrimage to Montreal's St. Joseph's Oratory. A beautiful shrine set against Mount Royal, the Oratory draws pilgrims by the thousands every year – by plane, by bus, and on foot. What's the draw? Watch this film, and listen to Brother Placide Vermandère tell you all about it.
This feature documentary records the turbulent history and remarkable achievements of women in religion, from pre-Christian Celtic communities to the radical sisters of the 1980s. The history of nuns mirrors that of all women - in what we are taught about the past, women are almost invisible. Although today's one million nuns outnumber priests two to one, they still struggle to be heard by the all-male Roman Catholic hierarchy from which they are excluded. In Behind the Veil: Nuns, contemporary nuns speak candidly of their lives, their challenges, and their predecessors.
This short documentary offers a privileged view of convent life at Les Servantes de Jesus-Mariet, in Hull, Quebec. The film focuses on Micheline Robert, who, while all her friends were thinking about marriage, turned her back on that world for a life of obedience, chastity, and poverty. We follow her progress, right up to her final vows.
This extraordinary film introduces us to the Reutov family, part of an isolated northern Alberta community called the Old Believers. Adhering to the original Orthodox Christian dogma and rituals introduced to ancient Rus (present-day Ukraine, Byelorussia and Russia) by the Greeks of Byzantium, the Old Believers see themselves as the last Christians left on the face of the Earth. Here in North America, for the first time in their history, they are threatened not by persecution, but by economic bounty and the western notion of personal freedom. Shot over the four seasons, the film is both a beautiful rendering of timeless rituals and a fascinating exploration of the Old Believers' turbulent history.
This very short film from the Canada Vignettes series documents the annual pilgrimage that members of Saskatchewan’s Métis Catholic community make to St. Laurent, a village in the Duck Lake area that became the Métis nation’s spiritual centre at the time of the 1885 Northwest Rebellion.
Alanis Obomsawin turns her lens to Le Patro Le Prévost, a recreational centre in the Villeray quarter of Montreal. On the eve of its 80th anniversary in 1989, Le Patro is a vital focal point in the predominantly working-class neighbourhood. Beloved by the many generations who use the facilities and partake in activities daily, Le Patro encourages a strong sense of togetherness through principles of cooperation, respect and sharing. Obomsawin presents a tender portrait of a neighbourhood of diverse residents and the community centre many of them consider a second home.
This documentary is a salute to 35,000 years of the goddess-worshipping religions of the ancient past. The film features Merlin Stone, Carol Christ, Luisah Teish and Jean Bolen, all of whom link the loss of goddess-centric societies with today's environmental crisis. This is the first part of a 3-part series that includes The Burning Times and Full Circle.
This feature-length film tells the story of the passion between Marie de l’Incarnation, a mid-seventeenth-century nun and God, her "divine spouse." Fusing documentary and acting by Marie Tifo, whom we follow as she rehearses for this demanding role, the film paints an astonishing portrait of this mystic who abandoned her son and left France to build a convent in Canada, where she became the first female writer in New France.
This documentary takes an in-depth look at the witch hunts that swept Europe just a few hundred years ago. False accusations and trials led to massive torture and burnings at the stake and ultimately to the destruction of an organic way of life. The film questions whether the widespread violence against women and the neglect of our environment today can be traced back to those times. Part two of a series of three films on women and spirituality, which includes Goddess Remembered and Full Circle.
This documentary portrays the front-line street workers who serve the needy under the umbrella of the Salvation Army. One of the world's largest social agencies, the Army is a religious institution that serves the practical needs of people first, believing that religion is of no use to anyone who is hungry, homeless and hopeless.
Join filmmaker Rosemary House as she peers into the hearts and minds of people on both sides of the street – those who help and those who need help. Shot in Toronto at Christmastime, the film chronicles the small hopes and tiny victories of life lived below the poverty line and the daily rewards for those who work to serve others.
These vignettes from 1951 covered various aspects of life in Canada and were shown in theatres across the country. Subjects included here are British Columbia's Cariboo Trail, once the scene of a great gold rush and which still pays off for the placer miner and occasional prospector; Canada's new state residence at 24 Sussex Drive in Ottawa, a redesigned old stone mansion destined to become Canada's No. 10 Downing Street; a unique ceremony in remote Chesterfield Inlet as the first Inuit girl in history receives the veil of the Grey Nuns; Great Lakes conservationists outsmart the eel-like bloodsucker that preys on fish; and the new blue model uniforms designed for the Women's Division of the Air Force.
Please note that this is an archival film that makes use of the word “Eskimo,” an outdated and offensive term. While the origin of the word is a matter of some contention, it is no longer used in Canada. The term was formally rejected by the Inuit Circumpolar Council in 1980 and has subsequently not been in use at the NFB for decades. This film is therefore a time-capsule of a bygone era, presented in its original version. The NFB apologizes for the offence caused.
This feature documentary tells the story of the Notre-Dame-du-Sacré-Cœur Congregation which was formed in 1924 when 53 French-speaking nuns separated from their unilingual English community, forming a new religious community that immediately began to campaign for the preservation of Acadian language, faith and culture. Convinced that education was essential for Acadian women, in 1943 the Congregation founded Collège Notre-Dame d’Acadie, where young women were able to study in French for the first time in New Brunswick.