This short experimental film is composed of snapshot impressions of a European immigrant's first five years in Canada. With humour and discernment, they reveal his reactions to his adopted country, to the environment, and the Canadian manners and customs to which he attempts to adjust. At first everything seems strange—the red brick houses, the glass skyscrapers, cars everywhere, stores stuffed with consumer goods—but gradually our protagonist becomes accustomed to calling the place home.
In this film, Paul Tomkowicz, Polish-born Canadian, talks about his job and his life in Canada. He compares his new life in the city of Winnipeg to the life he knew in Poland, marvelling at the freedom Canadians enjoy. In winter the rail-switches on streetcar tracks in Winnipeg froze and jammed with freezing mud and snow. Keeping them clean, whatever the weather, was the job of the switchman.
This feature documentary zooms in on Montreal’s Côte-des-Neiges borough, where over 75 ethnic groups live side by side in a dizzying swirl of sound and colour. One day, filmmaker Lucie Lachapelle began knocking on the doors that isolated her from her neighbours. The result is a vibrant film about freedom and uprootedness set to urban music composed by Montreal jazz artist Harold Faustin.
Every year thousands of immigrants enter Canada. But what of their homelands and the ties they leave behind? This film visits Holland to tell that human story--the story of the Boelhauers, farm folk who choose emigration as the best means of one day owning their own land. Arriving in Canada, they are given hope by what they see around them. At the same time, Canada has acquired a fine family of the land.
This film tells the inspiring story of the rise of the Icelandic communities in western Canada and their fine contribution to the Canadian heritage. Like many people who have emigrated to Canada and become true Canadians, the prairie Icelanders have retained many of the customs and traditions of their ancestral land. Their food, for instance, is prepared in Icelandic fashion; and although their children go to Canadian schools, they also learn the sagas and legends of their forefathers.
This documentary introduces us to Italian-Canadians whose lives were disrupted and uprooted by seclusion in internment camps during the Second World War. On June 10, 1940, Italy entered WWII. Overnight, the Canadian government came to see the country's 112,000 Italian-Canadians as a threat to its national security. The RCMP rounded up thousands of people it considered fascist sympathizers. Seven hundred of them were held for up to three years in internment camps, most of them at Petawawa, Ontario. None were ever charged with a criminal offence. Remarkably, the former internees are not bitter as they look back on the way their own country treated them.
This documentary brings together a group of long lost classmates who used to belong to an after-school film club. Formed at the initiative of a Grade 8 teacher eager to pass along his love of cinema, the club attracted a klatch of immigrant kids eager to embrace their new country. Stimulating and creative, the club was a complete departure from anything they had known and provided a safe haven from the harsh world around them. Together, they made a tiny 8mm award-winner called Ohh Canada.
Twenty-five years later, the group looks back to marvel at their childhood dreams and the bond they share with the teacher who brought them together.
This film was produced as part of the Reel Diversity Competition for emerging filmmakers of colour. Reel Diversity is a National Film Board of Canada initiative in partnership with CBC Newsworld.
This feature documentary studies the different faces of Montreal’s Greek community in 1969. Instead of giving voice to the businessmen and well-integrated few, the film highlights the cultural and economic problems encountered by new immigrants and their families.
A warm and lively film, Bekevar Jubilee dips into history to look at a time when the first Hungarian peasants came to settle the plains of Saskatchewan. The film documents the festivities commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Bekevar community, and contrasts it with footage and photographs of the old and new countries at the turn of the century.