A film about the people of Saigon told through the experiences of 3 young American journalists who, in 1970, explored the consequences of war and of the American presence in Vietnam. It is not a film about the Vietnam War, but about the people who lived on the fringe of battle. The views of the city are arresting, but away from the shrines and the open-air markets lies another city, swollen with refugees and war orphans, where every inch of habitable space is coveted.
This documentary by Michael Rubbo (Waiting for Fidel) offers candid glimpses of Indonesia and its people. Filming in and around the capital of Jakarta, the cameras follow where chance leads, capturing the flavour of life in this fertile crescent of tropical islands. Throughout the film, the focus is on a society caught between the past and the conflicting options for the future - to change or not to change from long-established patterns of life to ones more influenced by western technology.
This short animation tells the story of a young boy and his father, both of whom are enlisted to fight in the war. The boy's pride soon turns to fear as the bullets whistle overhead. His father takes his place and is immediately shot and killed. Horrified, the boy understands that war is not a game. Based on article 38 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, this film illustrates the right of children under the age of 15 not to be recruited into the armed forces.
Monika Delmos's documentary captures a year in the life of two teenage refugees, Joyce and Sallieu, who have left their own countries to make a new life in Ontario. Joyce, 17, left the Democratic Republic of Congo to avoid being forced into prostitution by her family. Sallieu, 16, had witnessed the murder of his mother as a young boy in wartorn Sierra Leone.
Delmos follows them as they bear the normal pressures of being a teenager while simultaneously undergoing the refugee application process. She shows how the guidance and support of a handful of people make a real difference in the day-to-day lives of these children.
This full-length documentary tells the story of 2 Afghans who return to Afghanistan in search of their families after a 16-year exile. Like many Afghan children, Soorgul and Amir were sent to Tajikistan during the Soviet occupation of their country. When the Soviet Union collapsed, the civil wars that broke out on both sides of the border left the children stranded, unable to leave the country until Canada accepted them as refugees.
The Sweetest Embrace tells an intimate story set against one of the world's most harsh and yet beautiful landscapes, in a land where life has been shaped by war and hardship but where spirit remains resilient.
Bureaucracy shapes our lives and guides us from the cradle to the grave. This documentary, directed by Donald Brittain, lays bare the idiosyncrasies of bureaucracy, whether in Canada, Austria, Hungary, the Vatican or the Virgin Islands. It also attempts to make the functioning of the public service more comprehensible. The absurdities of bureaucratic behaviour are exposed with humour and irreverence.
In 1945, Great Britain and the United States organized a bombing raid that devastated the ancient city of Dresden. This short documentary returns exactly 40 years after its destruction and celebrates its renaissance with the re-opening of one of the most beautiful opera houses in Europe. One guest at this gala was the Canadian navigator of one of the bomber planes, returning to Dresden on a mission of peace that brought him face-to-face with the people who were once his enemies.
This feature-length documentary from 1974 takes viewers inside Fidel Castro's Cuba. A movie-making threesome hope that Fidel himself will star in their film. The unusual crew consists of former Newfoundland premier Joseph Smallwood, radio and TV owner Geoff Stirling and NFB film director Michael Rubbo. What happens while the crew awaits its star shows a good deal of the new Cuba, and also of the three Canadians who chose to film the island.
This documentary is the story of two Mennonite brothers from Manitoba who were forced to make a decision in 1939, as Canada joined World War II. In the face of 400 years of pacifist tradition, should they now go to war? Ted became a conscientious objector while his brother went into military service. Fifty years later, the town of Winkler dedicates its first war memorial and John begins to share his war experiences with Ted.
Hibakusha is the Japanese word for the survivors of the American bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This powerful and moving documentary focuses on a few of the eighty hibakusha who journeyed from Japan to New York in June, 1982, to take part in peace demonstrations held to coincide with the Second United Nations Special Session on Disarmament. They came to urge the nations of the world to prevent nuclear war. Instead of concentrating on the physical suffering of the victims, the film reveals the mental anguish of the hibakusha, who are still haunted by nightmares.
Ariel Nasr's documentary gives voice to the complex dilemmas faced by contemporary Afghanis under Canadian intervention. The film introduces us to young Afghan-Canadians torn between a deep desire to help Afghanistan and a fear that things will never change. Good Morning Kandahar asks whether Canada's mission in Afghanistan is failing.
This film was produced as part of the Reel Diversity Competition for emerging filmmakers of colour. Reel Diversity is a National Film Board of Canada initiative in partnership with CBC Newsworld.
Scared Sacred is a feature documentary that asks the question: Can we be Scared into the Sacred? The film takes us on a journey to the pivotal ground zeros of the world, places like Bosnia, Hiroshima, New York City and Afghanistan in search of stories of hope and meaning.
Ages 15 to 17
Ethics and Religious Culture - Ethical Values
Ethics and Religious Culture - Religious Diversity/Heritage
History - World History
Social Studies - Development/Global Issues
Students can study the effects of war on culture. What aspects of a people make them unified and unique? How do war and destruction affect how people identify themselves? Have the students ever gone through a struggle with a group of people and experienced a sense of togetherness afterward? Ask them to identify elements of their daily lives that would help them cope with loss of their family members, homes, etc. What people and things do they hold dear? Who/what could they live without?