For more than 40 years, journalist Robert Fisk has reported on some of the most violent and divisive conflicts in the world.
Yung Chang’s This Is Not a Movie captures Fisk in action—feet on the ground, notebook in hand, as he travels into landscapes devastated by war, ferreting out the facts and firing reports back home to reach an audience of millions. The process of translating raw experience into incisive and passionate dispatches requires the determination to see things first-hand and the tenacity to say what others won’t. In his relentless pursuit of the facts, Fisk has attracted his share of controversy. But in spite of the danger, he has continued to cover stories as they unfold, talking directly to the people involved. In an era of fake news, when journalists are dubbed “the enemies of the people,” Fisk’s resolve to document reality has become an obsessive war to speak the truth.
With a meticulous selection of interviews, performances and photos drawn from a vast and rich archival collection, Pauline Julien, Intimate and Political follows the iconic Quebec singer and eternally free spirit on a journey through key moments in the province’s history.
Against the backdrop of the camera’s meditative wandering through the places that created Quebec, Where the Land Ends explores and questions the historical narrative, as a group of young people who were not old enough to vote in the 1995 referendum express their views. They seem to have decided, on their own, to create a new “Terre des Hommes” (Man and His World).
Several years ago, after taking part in the mass uprisings against Bashar al-Assad, Adnan al-Mhamied had to flee Syria with his wife, Basmah, and their four children. Now settled in Montreal, the family opens their door to filmmaker Pascal Sanchez. They’ve adjusted to life in a peaceful city, but Adnan and Basmah still fear for loved ones back in Syria whose status and whereabouts remain unknown. The war that’s thousands of kilometres away continues to haunt them, surging suddenly to the fore in a conversation, Skype call or Facebook feed. Far from Bashar chronicles an endearing family as they go about their lives, tormented by a distant and seemingly interminable conflict.
High Wire examines the reasons that Canada declined to take part in the 2003 US-led military mission in Iraq, shining a spotlight on the diplomatic tug of war that took place behind the scenes with our neighbours to the south, who have often adopted an interventionist foreign policy to serve their own economic and geopolitical interests. Canada’s historic refusal could have had disastrous consequences, but a number of key players and other analysts remind us of the terrible price we pay when diplomacy fails.
This fast-paced documentary follows Canadian freelance reporter Jesse Rosenfeld’s journey across the Middle East. Having made the region the focus of his work, he shows us the thorny geopolitical realities on the ground and explores how journalism practices have changed in the age of the Internet. From Egypt to Turkey and Iraq by way of Israel and Palestine, filmmaker Santiago Bertolino captures the ups and downs of a new kind of journalism in action.
Listen to a podcast by Jesse Rosenfeld and Jesse Freeston as they discuss the dangers and thrills of reporting from the Middle East.
In community archives across British Columbia, local knowledge keepers are hand-fashioning a more inclusive history. Through a collage of personal interviews, archival footage and deeply rooted memories, the past, present and future come together, fighting for a space where everyone is seen and everyone belongs. History is what we all make of it.
This documentary is a portrait of modern-day Pondicherry, an ancient city near the southern tip of India. For several centuries an outpost of France, the city is now home to Auroville, a spiritual community growing on its periphery. There, European and North American devotees of Sri Aurobindo, a Bengali poet and mystic, come to live the contemplative life. Their guru is a 94-year-old woman from France. This mecca of sorts is seen through the eyes of Albert Jordan, a professor from Concordia University, in Montreal, who spent a year there with his family in 1971.
When William Shatner gets a Lifetime Achievement Award from Canada's Governor General, he shows appreciation as only Shatner can. In this short film, the most famous space cadet in showbiz takes helm of our heritage and treats us to a memorable rendition of Canada's national anthem.
Produced by the National Film Board of Canada in co-operation with the National Arts Centre and the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards Foundation on the occasion of the 2011 Governor General's Performing Arts Awards.
Watch more NFB comedy here.
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.
How can refugee children integrate into Quebec’s school system, given the unspeakable violence they’ve experienced? Following a psychologist specializing in conflict-related trauma, Unspoken Tears pays tribute to the admirable resilience and survival strategies of these “small adults,” whose spirit the bombs and camps have not completely crushed, at a time when it is vital to raise awareness in Western societies of migration-related issues and children’s rights.
This short documentary from 1956 catches up with several talented Canadians who have found a home in the entertainment or arts scenes of London and Paris. Among them are Toronto-born Beverley Baxter, a baronet and MP who claims that London has a history of being invaded (first the Romans, now the Canadians), and then-aspiring novelist Mordecai Richler, who feels he has a better chance of making a living in England than he does back home.