This documentary records the extraordinary determination of Jungle Jim Hunter to be the best ski racer in the world. We witness his gruelling exercise routines, pre-race tensions, trials and deep religious faith of this dedicated athlete.
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.
Filmmaker Giles Walker takes an informal look at how our best skiers work and live. Filmed in 1976, this short movie follows the Canadian ski team on a tight schedule in Chile and Argentina. With 2 ½ tons of equipment, speeds of up to 140 km/h, gruelling workouts and a dramatic theft, it's safe to say that downhill racing is not for the faint of heart.
This short documentary records the celebration and ritual surrounding a snowshoe competition in Sherbrooke in the late 1950s. The film marked the beginning of a new approach to reality in documentary and prefigures the trademark style of the NFB's newly formed French Unit. Today, Les raquetteurs is considered a precursor to the birth of direct cinema. In French with English subtitles.
This short film retraces the life of Herman Smith Johannsen – the man who introduced the sport of cross-country skiing to Canadians. From past to present, his life story is portrayed through pictures from sports newsreels, Norwegian archives and his family album. The film catches up with him at both the Canadian Ski Marathon, where he is the honoured guest, and on a return trip to his native Norway.
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 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.
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.)
In this documentary, the members of the University of British Columbia's Thunderbirds hockey team travel to China to demonstrate their skills to the new teams in the East. While hockey there still has a long way to go, this film leaves no doubt that the Chinese players are up to the challenge. A film propelled by discoveries, it goes a long way to providing insight into the differences between East and West.
For more background information about this film, please visit the NFB.ca blog.
Featuring Jean Beliveau, this short film focuses on hockey from the inside out. Known as Canada's national pastime, this film demonstrates why hockey is such an exciting spectator sport. From east to west, the connection between fans and players is evident in the excited cries of "we've won!" From Pee-Wee to Bantam, from the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association to the big league pros, Here's Hockey! shows what it takes to make a great hockey player.
This documentary tells the moving story of Northern Irish teenage hockey players Andrew and Paul, best friends in a city divided by religion. In Belfast, hockey is bringing Northern Irish youth together in a shared love of the game, providing a respite from the Protestant-Catholic turf warfare that pervades their lives. Set against the backdrop of a post-conflict society, the film provides an intimate glimpse into the realities of life in Belfast—the 12-metre-high walls that divide Catholic and Protestant, the precautions Andrew and Paul must take to be friends, and the safety they find on the rink at Dundonald.