This feature documentary is a candid journey into the world of 4 young Canadian women who work as well-paid hostesses in exclusive Japanese nightclubs. Lured by adventure and easy money, these modern-day geisha find themselves caught up in the mizu shobai—the complex "floating water world" of Tokyo clubs and bars. Drawn by fast money, some women become consumed by the lavish lifestyle and forget why they came; one hostess calls this "losing the plot." With a pulsating visual style, Tokyo Girls captures the raw energy of urban Japan and its fascination with the new.
This feature documentary explores the state of prostitution laws in Canada. It captures the complexity of the issue by listening to the frequently conflicting voices of sex workers, policy-makers, lawyers, and even the male buyers who make their argument for why prostitution is good for society. Warning: This film deals with mature subject matter. Viewer discretion is advised.
Following the release of Buying Sex, Professor Alan Young, counsel for the applicants in Bedford v. Canada and a participant in the film, contacted the NFB to complain that the film provides an incomplete and inaccurate account of the case. The NFB acknowledges that the constitutional challenge is not the focus of the film. Rather, the aim of the film is to examine the current controversy in Canada around the decriminalization of prostitution, of which the Bedford case is one aspect. The goal is to create a film which encourages Canadians to engage in an informed debate about sex work from a national and international perspective. The NFB believes the film achieves this purpose. In the spirit of furthering an informed debate on these issues, including the constitutional challenge, and in response to Prof. Young's concerns, the NFB provides below links to the legal briefs filed by the parties before the Supreme Court of Canada as well as links to the judgments of all three Canadian Courts. The third judgment, from the Supreme Court of Canada, was released in December 2013, following the completion of the film. The Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional the three prostitution related laws challenged by Prof. Young, but suspended its judgment for one year to allow Parliament to consider whether to enact new laws, thus ensuring that the debate surrounding the decriminalization of prostitution will continue in Canada for some time.
Legal Briefs Filed by the Parties in the Supreme Court of Canada
Judgments from the Trial Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court of Canada
Canada (Attorney General) v. Bedford, 2013 SCC 72 (Supreme Court of Canada)
Canada (Attorney General) v. Bedford, 2012 ONCA 186 (Court of Appeal for Ontario)
Bedford v. Canada, 2010 ONSC 4264 (CanLII) (Superior Court of Ontario)
Inspired by a real-life news item, this animated short paints a pulsating portrait of a mixed-use, working-class neighbourhood where young families cross paths with prostitutes, their interactions leaving unpredictable ripples in the motley fabric of urban life.
This short documentary is an absorbing study of Japanese business and industry. Discipline and productivity in Japan are much more regimented than in many other parts of the world. For the 110 million Japanese, survival means doing things together, rather than asserting a North American-style individualism. Japan's industry has automated and computerized at an unparalleled rate. Open-concept offices and collaborative work styles offer a model of the changing style of modern work that could inspire the West to modify their processes as well.
This short documentary follows 10-year-old Tamar, a resident of Jerusalem, as she recounts the experiences of her daily life in Israel. She practices her baritone tuba and attends school, the local market, and a religious youth camp. She welcomes cousins who have emigrated from Russia, and expresses her desire for peace between Jews and Arabs.
This feature documentary exposes the little-known tragedy of girl soldiers in Uganda. How can they learn to live normal lives again after being abducted and trained to become killing machines? Clinging to their dreams, Grace, Milly and Lucy are trying to restore meaning to their lives and break the silence surrounding the fate of a sacrificed generation.
This full-length documentary tells the story of 2 Afghans who return to Afghanistan in search of their families after a 16-year exile. Like many Afghan children, Soorgul and Amir were sent to Tajikistan during the Soviet occupation of their country. When the Soviet Union collapsed, the civil wars that broke out on both sides of the border left the children stranded, unable to leave the country until Canada accepted them as refugees.
The Sweetest Embrace tells an intimate story set against one of the world's most harsh and yet beautiful landscapes, in a land where life has been shaped by war and hardship but where spirit remains resilient.
In this short documentary, a succession of black and white photographs provides a gritty look at juvenile prostitution and at the young people, male and female, struggling to get off the streets. Highlighting the links between being sexually abused as a child, loss of self-esteem, and turning to the streets, the film quickly dispels the images of glamor and big money usually associated with prostitution, and shows the positive efforts of child-care workers to help juvenile prostitutes find a way out.
This short film from 1965 paints a portrait of Ako, a 16-year-old girl who is trying to live in freedom while escaping the traditions of her country. Ako works at a bakery where others like her manipulate masses of dough while engaging in conversation and laughing. Filmed in a disjointed style, the images and dialogue are reminiscent of a dream.
This documentary introduces us to Mark Rowswell, a Canadian comedian virtually unknown in his own country who has an enormous following in mainland China, where he is known as Dashan.
The film provides a unique look at China through the eyes of a man who has become fully at home in Chinese culture—his appearances on national television have been known to draw up to 600 million viewers. It shows Rowswell performing, talking about his art and popularity, and discussing the West’s role in the development of the new China.