This fiction film takes an unvarnished look at life in a working-class boarding house. Based on the filmmaker's memories of his own mother's boarding house in Cabbagetown, Toronto, the story revolves around Rose and how she runs her establishment. With a household as full and varied as hers, domesticity clashes with disputes about bootlegging, violence, and stealing. Even authority isn't exempt: she does battle with a social worker over her son's theft of a bicycle. Rose is the queen of her castle, and delivers her own brand of justice.
Guilty of loving life! A dramatization of an actual court case in turn-of-the-century Québec. A lively, outgoing woman is accused of murdering her husband in collaboration with the hired hand. The townspeople do not appreciate her robust personality and the proceedings in court degenerate to a judgment of her character. Filled with stunning visual imagery, this feature film captures the spirit of the time and place. Particularly useful for those interested in history, law or women's issues. With English subtitles.
The NFB's 42nd Oscar®-nominated film.
This dramatic film introduces us to Tommy, a World War II veteran who rooms alone, waiting for his pension cheque to arrive, passing the time in the evenings with his cronies in the Legion Hall. Lennie can claim only a third of Tommy's years, but he prowls the same area of town, and the two have more in common than either of them realizes. Both their lives lack a sense of place and purpose. The story occurs early in November and leads up to an event that provides one of Tommy's few remaining moments of glory, the annual veterans' Remembrance Day parade.
In this short documentary, social activist and educator Rosemary Brown speaks to the high school students about the incidence of poverty among women. The film outlines the role of women in the work force and in society, as well as the causes of and possible solutions to the 'feminization of poverty.'
Don Owen’s groundbreaking short drama tells the story of two young women who go to the city to work in a dress factory, and who share a room to ease their expenses and their loneliness. The film shows the currents that brought them together and the facets of their natures that first made them seem compatible but eventually drove them apart. Their story reflects, to a degree, the situation of anyone who has ever shared the life of another.
The setting for this drama is a logging community, focusing on a man who chooses the unfettered life and uncertain income of an itinerant bush worker, even though it means that his family lives poorly as a result. The film is a study of the effects on family life of isolation and deprivation. Features a wonderful performance from a young Margot Kidder.
This short fiction tells the story of Eddie, a young man who "borrows" a motorbike parked in front of a store and takes his girl for a spin—a brash decision with disastrous and alienating consequences. The film, a commentary on a society that often offers youth little purpose or sense of accomplishment, is a play-by-play exploration of the clash between young people's impulsiveness and society's need for law and order.
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.
The film reflects the dilemma of an urban family whose private world is no longer proof against strains from outside. The head of the family, a Montréal businessman tormented by a sense of failure, seeks a new self-image in an out-of-town affair. His college son is drawn to student causes and a night-club singer. The youngest boy, confused and insecure, wants to run away from it all; and the mother, caught in the middle, no longer feels adequate as everyone's guide and protector. It is a familiar theme portrayed in moving, human terms.
Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Robin Spry, Prologue was the first Canadian film to screen at the Venice Film Festival. Set and filmed during the sixties, this fiction feature tells the story of a young Montrealer who edits an underground newspaper with help from his female friend and a draft dodger from the United States. Two rival philosophies of dissenting youth become evident in the choices they make: militant protest vs. communal retreat. The film includes some seminal archival footage of a speech by legendary anti-war activist Abbie Hoffman and bloody rioting during the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago.
Prompted by the filmmaker, nine teenagers individually act out their secret dreams and, between times, talk about their world as they see it. Babette conceives of herself as an abbess defending her fortress, a convent; Michelle is transported in a dream of love where all time ceases; Philippe is the revolutionary, defeating all the institutions that plague him, and so on, through all their fantasies. All the actual preoccupations of youth are raised: authority, drugs, social conflict, sex. With English subtitles.