This documentary is a portrait of Point St. Charles, one of Montreal’s notoriously bleak neighbourhoods. Many of the residents are English-speaking and of Irish origin; many of them are also on welfare. Considered to be one of the toughest districts in all of Canada, Point St. Charles is poor in terms of community facilities, but still full of rich contrasts and high spirits – that is, most of the time.
This feature-length film about poverty in Montreal is set against a soundtrack that includes rap, blues, rock, and country and western music. The film deals with the universal themes of hunger, hope and love and is named after an actual Montreal restaurant that's been serving those in need for over 25 years. In French with English subtitles.
This short film was an experiment in using video recordings and closed circuit television to stimulate social action in a poor Montreal neighbourhood. A citizen's committee filmed people's concerns and then played back the tapes for the community. Upon recognizing their common problems, people began to talk about joint solutions. It proved an important and effective method of promoting social change.
This short film is a series of vignettes of life in Saint-Henri, a Montreal working-class district, on the first day of school. From dawn to midnight, we take in the neighbourhood’s pulse: a mother fussing over children, a father's enforced idleness, teenage boys clowning, young lovers dallying - the unposed quality of daily life.
A fifth of Canadians live at the subsistence level. This is a look at that world, where the street is home, and where poor shelter, poor food, poor schools and poor health are the only certainties of life. Children, old people, the sick and the drifters are caught in it. It is a world filmed throughout Canada so that people who are not part of it can see it, think about it, and maybe help to change it.
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.
This short documentary profiles Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day parade in Montreal in 1959. The annual parade takes place every June 24th in memory of Saint-Jean-Baptiste, the patron saint of Québec. Candid shots of youngsters preparing their costumes for the festivities are partnered with a lively jazz soundtrack. All the Montrealers and out-of-town tourists featured in this film avidly participate in a public festivity that is dear to their hearts.
This full-length documentary from the Challenge for Change program addresses housing issues affecting Montreal in the mid-1970s. As the city is restoring older apartments through direct action and government subsidies, new, low-rent housing is being integrated into old neighborhoods.
This feature documentary is considered to be the forerunner of the NFB's Challenge for Change Program. The film offers in inside look at 3 weeks in the life of the Bailey family. Trouble with the police, begging for stale bread, and the birth of another child are just some of the issues they face. Through it all, the father tries to explain his family's predicament. Although filmed in Montreal, the film offers an anatomy of poverty as it occurs throughout North America.
A collaborative work made in the spirit of cinéma-vérité, St-Henri, the 26th of August was directed by Shannon Walsh and16 fellow documentary filmmakers. Chronicling life in a former working-class Montreal neighbourhood over a 24-hour period, St-Henri, the 26th of August follows several compelling stories and characters. The film is an homage to the 1962 Hubert Aquin classic À Saint-Henri le cinq septembre.