Art and activism are the starting point for a funny and intimate portrait of five surprising individuals with diverse disabilities. Packed with humour and raw energy, this film follows the gang of five from B.C. to Nova Scotia as they create and present their own images of their disabilities.
This feature documentary is a portrait of Luke Melchior (1973-2021) who, at 26, had already lived longer than most people with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a progressive wasting of the muscles. Knowing his life would be relatively short had made Luke feel an urgency about making a lasting contribution. Living independently, with the help of 3 homecare workers, he ran a web-based business selling outdoor gear, and chaired the board of the Disability Resource Centre in Victoria, BC, where he was a passionate advocate for the rights of the disabled.
Bearing Witness consists of 3 films, each approximately one hour long, on people with life-threatening illnesses. The series also profiles Jocelyn Morton, who died of liver cancer at 44, and Robert Coley-Donohue, who died of ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease) at age 74.
This Oscar®-winning documentary presents Nadia, a 9-year-old girl with spina bifida. Her dream is to attend a regular school, even though she knows other kids will tease her. Wise for her young age, Nadia simply decides that she'll "find a way to deal with it." Despite having to overcome many obstacles, Nadia's got spunk and makes it clear she's not looking for sympathy. This film is part of the Children of Canada series.
This feature-length documentary looks at Stephen O'Keefe, a deaf, stand-up comedian. Faced with the usual challenges that life presents - marriage, children and career - Stephen works extra hard just to be able to hear (with the aid of a cochlear implant) and communicate with those around him. While many hearing-impaired people find life isolating, Stephen embraces the spotlight and chooses to step forward and entertain people.
Meet Tony Rossi, a 10-year-old boy who can only distinguish light from shadow. Despite this difficulty, he leads a very active life. The short documentary shows the ingenious ways in which Tony manages his life. This film is part of the Children of Canada series.
This feature documentary is a portrait of Sam Sullivan, a quadriplegic city councillor running for Vancouver mayor. Blending the rough and tumble of the campaign with intimate moments from Sullivan's daily life, the film is an unflinching portrait of the one-of-a-kind politician.
In this installment of the Eye Witness series, we look at classrooms on rails, circa 1949. We visit Ontario forests north of Lake Superior, where children come from miles away to attend school in a school car. They receive a month's worth of homework at a time, to keep them busy until the next time the classroom comes around. In Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, we see a unique workshop that trains the physically-challenged as furniture makers and seamstresses, allowing them to earn a living and build self-reliance.
Sixty-six-year-old Ivy Granstrom jogs, skis, bowls, gardens and does carpentry work. Sometimes she walks into a wall. Due to insufficient care at birth, she enjoys only 4.5% vision, but she doesn't let blindness interfere with her life. She practises the art of "mind over eyes."
The Impossible Takes a Little Longer documents the work and personal lives of five physically disabled women. It shows how they are coping with the problems they share with all women, the problems they share with other disabled women and those unique to their particular circumstances. The film affirms that disabled women can lead full and productive lives as workers, as mothers and as valued community members. It informs both disabled women and the able-bodied about the possibilities of adaptations in the workplace, the use of technological aids and the need for support systems if disabled women are to have satisfying and productive lives. The Impossible Takes a Little Longer undermines the stereotypes and prejudices that further hinder a large segment of our population.
This animated short, etched directly onto tinted 70 mm film, depicts the story of two sisters: Viola, who writes novels in a dark room, and Marie, her only companion. Disfigured, Viola counts on her sister to take care of her and shelter her from the outside world. But when an unexpected stranger turns up on their front door, the sisters' quiet lives are disrupted and their routine turns to chaos.
This short documentary depicts the return of Canadian WWII veterans to civilian life, including those who, because of war injuries or lack of training, require special treatment or courses before taking on jobs. Throughout the program, emphasis is laid on individual adjustment to normal peacetime life and work. Part of the Canada Carries On series.
Interweaving poetry, painting, photography, music and sculpture, this feature documentary is an innovative look at the lives and work of Canadian men and women artists of Italian origin. Broaching issues of identity and culture, the film explores the relationship between the immigrant experience and the creative process.
Ages 12 to 17
Diversity - Identity
students examine how literature and the media represent the disabled and
reflect society’s attitudes; explore classic archetypes, such as the Phantom,
the Hunchback of Notre Dame, Beauty and the Beast, and others. Discuss the
reasons for these and whether society is changing. Suggest alternatives that
would reflect a more open attitude. Media students can study the documentary’s
influence on the audience, explaining the significance of the title and how
the story is told.