St.John's, Newfoundland is North America's most easterly landfall. For half a millennium, its perfect harbour has provided a safe refuge in the middle of the treacherous North Atlantic. For 300 years of its history it was an actual crime to try and settle--Newfoundland was the private preserve of British fishing merchants. But people stayed, despite the colonial masters, despite the lack of law and order, despite hellish weather and raging seas. And the city grew--lurching through centuries of crisis, disaster, privation. For filmmaker, Rosemary House, 'This is still a hard rock land, a dirty old town at the back of beyond. And yet the St.John's townie is so proud, you'd swear we lived in Paris.' In this documentary, she explores her city with the help of six locals, Mary Walsh, Andy Jones, Anita Best, Brian Hennessey, Ed Riche, Des Walsh, writers and performers all, who walk through their home town and try to show what makes them love it so.
Shot at the Health Sciences Centre in St. John's, Newfoundland, this documentary reveals the workings of a contemporary health-care facility. Accompanied by hospital staff, we travel through labs, pharmacies, supply rooms, operating theatres and patient rooms from the maternity ward to the morgue. As debate in Canada and the world rages over health care, Hospital City offers a moving, human portrait of the people whom the issues touch most closely.
This feature documentary takes a look at how the Halifax/Dartmouth community in Nova Scotia was stimulated by a week-long session held by a panel of specialists from different fields who met with members of this urban community to consider the future of the area and the responsibility of the citizens and government in planning the future.
This feature documentary traces the political career of T.C. (Tommy) Douglas, former premier of Saskatchewan and leader of the New Democratic Party, who was voted the Greatest Canadian in 2004 for his devotion to social causes, his charm and his powers of persuasion. Known as the "Father of Medicare," this one-time champion boxer and fiery preacher entered politics in the 1930s and never looked back.
This feature-length documentary paints a lively portrait of Father of Confederation and first premier of Newfoundland Joseph Roberts Smallwood, or "Joey," as he is known to most Canadians.
Following one of Canada’s most colourful political figures during a two-and-a-half-month period that included a stormy Liberal leadership convention, the film reveals a man misunderstood even by his close associates.
Set in the coldest waters surrounding Newfoundland’s rugged Fogo Island, this short film follows a group of “people of the fish”—traditional fishers who catch cod live by hand, one at a time, by hook and line. Filmmaker Justin Simms takes viewers deep inside the world of these brave fishermen. Travel with them from the early morning hours, spend time on the ocean, and witness the intricacies of a 500-year-old tradition that’s making a comeback.
This documentary records the journey undertaken by Jacques Cousteau, his 24-member team, and an NFB film crew to explore the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, one of the world's richest fishing areas. They discover shipwrecks, film icebergs and observe beluga whales, humpback whales and harp seals. The film also includes a fascinating sequence showing Calypso divers freeing a calf whale entrapped in a fishing net.
For more background information about this film, please visit the NFB.ca blog.
This is a documentary about the fragile and complex marine ecosystem in the Bay of Fundy. The film traces relationships within the food chain - from tiny plankton to birds and seals and finally to whales and humans. The film is a plea for careful management of our ocean resource and was first telecast as part of CBC's Nature of Things series.
This short documentary features Newfoundland fisherman Billy Crane, who speaks frankly on the state of the inshore fishery and how the lack of government support has contributed to the industry’s downfall. He is being forced to leave home to seek employment in Toronto. This film was made with the Challenge for Change program.
This feature documentary is a biography of Dr. Norman Bethune, the Canadian doctor who served with the loyalists during the Spanish Civil War and with the North Chinese Army during the Sino-Japanese War. In Spain he pioneered the world's first mobile blood-transfusion service; in China his work behind battle lines to save the wounded has made him a legendary figure.
This documentary explores the ecosystems of the intertidal zone in British Columbia. An "intertidal zone" is an area that is covered by the highest tides and exposed during the lowest. The filmmakers study the ecology of this unique environment, including its life cycles and food chains.