In this documentary, climbers from the Club de montagne canadien scale a nearly perpendicular wall of Precambrian rock, 65-meters high, in the Laurentian Mountains north of Montreal. Mini-transmitters carried by the climbers, and daring camerawork, convey every moment of suspense as two men and a woman grope and pull and inch their way upward. Two veteran mountaineers, Fritz Wiessner and John Brett, appear briefly in the film.
Crystal Pillar, White Lady, The Whale--these are the names given by ice-climbing enthusiasts to the spectacular ice formations surrounding Quebec's Montmorency Falls. Ice Birds shows two experienced climbers scaling the breathtaking wall of the Crystal Pillar with precision and considerable daring, appearing from below as black spots on the vast landscape of one of nature's masterpieces. Film without words.
Over a gleaming ice field and up steep cliffs of bare rock, the camera follows members of the Alpine Club of Canada. Before they set out we are introduced to the climbers' basic equipment and learn the uses of rope and ice axe. Excitement mounts as the alpinists leap gaping chasms, inch their way along icy ledges, and drag themselves up what looks like a sheer wall of rock. Arriving breathless at the top, they pause in triumph for a view of the magnificent mountains lying around their vanquished peak.
In this short documentary vignette, members of the Alpine Club of Canada display their skill and talk to host Fred Davis about why they climb. The film take us to a ten-thousand-foot peak in Yoho National Park, a practice slope on Grouse Mountain near Vancouver, and a steep precipice known as Devil's Leap, providing ample scope for a demonstration of mountain climbing.
This feature-length documentary retraces the journey of 4 Canadians who set off to climb the perilous north side of Mount Everest without the use of oxygen or sherpas. The group's ordeal gives us a rare insight into the human condition under stress, and, while immobilized on the edge of the mountain by extreme weather, we share the tensions that afflict the group's solidarity - threatening the dream of attaining the summit itself.
This colourful archival record of Québec City’s Winter Carnival shows that many popular events of today—pageants, parades, boat races, folk dancing, fireworks and torchlight skiing—were also favourites 50 years ago. (Please note that this is an archival film. This film was produced in 1957 and includes mostly original footage from the 1956 Quebec City Carnaval. It is a time-capsule of a bygone era. To modern audiences, parts of the footage from the Carnaval may be perceived as offensive, as certain individuals were dressed in Indigenous garb and others wore blackface. While such practices are not condoned today, the footage illustrates tolerated practices and customs of that era.)
This documentary by director Paul Cowan is about four athletes and a team that competed in the 1976 Olympics. They had trained courageously to be among those who would mount the podium to receive a medal. None of them did, but was it worth the effort? I'll Go Again answers the question.
This feature documentary uses animation, archival stills and live-action footage to detail the history of women's participation in the largely male-dominated world of baseball and softball. Zany and affectionate, it features 7-year-olds learning the rules and skills of the game and 50-year-olds hitting home runs, from the early days of the Bloomer Girls to the heyday of the Colorado Silver Bullets.
For more background information on this film, please visit the NFB.ca blog.
In this feature-length documentary, director Paul Jay was given unprecedented access to the world of Bret Hart and pro wrestling as his camera followed Bret "the Hitman" Hart for one year. Going behind the tightly guarded walls of wrestling's spectacle and theatre, the film explores the meaning of today's wrestling morality plays. As fantasy crosses into real life, the true story of Bret Hart's struggle with Vince McMahon, the legendary owner of the WWE, is revealed. Hitman Hart: Wrestling with Shadows climaxes with the tale of the biggest double-cross in pro wrestling.
This feature documentary follows one of the greatest Canadian baseball players of all time, Ferguson Jenkins, through the 1972-1973 season. From the hope and innocence of spring training to the dog days of an August slump, the camera gets up close and personal at the home plate and records the intimate chatter on the mound, in the dugout and in the locker room. It provides a glimpse into the rewards and pressures of sports stardom and the easy camaraderie of the quintessential summer sport.