This is a look at the daily life of a young couple. Both wife and husband suffer from cerebral palsy. Although every movement is made with effort, and every day is a struggle, they choose, instead of dependence on others, to marry, to have a child and to derive strength and courage from each other. By showing their problems, their needs and their hopes, this film reaches out for greater public understanding and acceptance of the physically disabled in our midst.
This short documentary introduces us to Martin Langlois, an autistic 22 year-old who is transferred to Maison Emmanuel when his devoted parents can no longer care for him. Maison Emmanuel is an alternative therapeutic community in Quebec’s Laurentian mountains that offers residents the ability to develop their life skills and particular gifts and abilities. Run by Inge Sell and her team, it is now home to 20 children and young adults, and forms part of a worldwide network of similar communities.
This feature documentary offers a comparison of the care of two boys with Down syndrome. Danny lives at home with his brothers and sisters and attends a special neighborhood school for children with disabilities. Nicky lives in a large institution for persons with intellectual disabilities. This film clarifies common misconceptions about intellectual disabilities, and presents an intimate portrait of the families, staff, and communities that come together to assist Danny and Nicky in learning, playing, and living a fulfilling life.
Alanis Obomsawin's 52nd film tells the story of how the life of Jordan River Anderson initiated a battle for the right of First Nations and Inuit children to receive the same standard of social, health and educational services as the rest of the Canadian population.
Also available on the Alanis Obomsawin, A Legacy DVD box set
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.
Even at a frail 90, Martha Katz has an impish energy that remains undiminished. She chides grandson-filmmaker Daniel Schubert over his choice of shirt during a visit to her Los Angeles home, but there’s trauma beneath the humour. At 14, Martha and her family were torn from their village in Czechoslovakia and shipped to Auschwitz. A visit to a Holocaust museum ignites painful memories, including a haunting personal encounter with one of Nazi Germany’s most notorious figures. For Martha, however, the emphasis is on a tough but rewarding postwar life in Winnipeg, which she fondly recalls in this warm, intimate portrait of an unrelenting survivor.
Shot in Montreal over a four-month period, from May to September 2020, Jules’ Impossible Summer charts the evolving relationship between the filmmaker and her 19-year-old son through 15 redundant conversations about the importance—or the impossibility, depending on the point of view—of following the health restrictions imposed during the pandemic.
WARNING: This film discusses the topic of OCD. Viewer discretion is advised.
This feature documentary explores the daily lives of individuals living with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), a misunderstood anxiety disorder characterized by intrusive thoughts, nagging fears and ritualistic behaviour. From the outside, its sufferers have no physical disabilities and have every appearance of being as functional as the next person. But inside, a daily war is waged for survival.
Taken in by a loving family at the age of eight weeks, Alanna grew up in the majestic wilderness of the Yukon mountains. Because her mother drank heavily during pregnancy, Alanna’s development was seriously compromised. She has fetal alcohol syndrome. She will never be like other kids.
Tackling the subject with sensitivity, Julie Plourde’s documentary speaks to the heart. Alanna is a wake-up call about a tragedy that’s largely underestimated by the public but of growing concern to health professionals around the world. In French with English subtitles.
This documentary was made as part of the Tremplin program, with the collaboration of Radio-Canada.
An intimate look into the mind of Niall McNeil, an artist and performer with Down syndrome, and his unique chosen family. In Lay Down Your Heart, Niall introduces us to his many “family members,” his multiple “children,” his renowned “ex-wife” and director of the film Marie Clements, and other bonds forged through open-hearted creativity.
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 3D stereoscopic animation tells the story of Matthew, a boy who is never afraid of the dark. Since he's been in darkness all his life, Matthew has eyes where other people only have hands, feet or ears. This week is Matthew's birthday and he's very curious about the surprise his parents are preparing for him. Can he find it?