In 1992 a young Iranian student hanged himself on the outskirts of a small Ontario town. Having escaped the Ayatollah's regime and found a new home in Canada, he could not escape his past. In this film, Masoud Raouf documents the experiences of Iranian-Canadians - former political prisoners like himself - who were active in the Iranian democratic movement and continue to struggle with the past.
For more background information about this film, please visit the NFB.ca blog.
Monika Delmos's documentary captures a year in the life of two teenage refugees, Joyce and Sallieu, who have left their own countries to make a new life in Ontario. Joyce, 17, left the Democratic Republic of Congo to avoid being forced into prostitution by her family. Sallieu, 16, had witnessed the murder of his mother as a young boy in wartorn Sierra Leone.
Delmos follows them as they bear the normal pressures of being a teenager while simultaneously undergoing the refugee application process. She shows how the guidance and support of a handful of people make a real difference in the day-to-day lives of these children.
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.
This feature documentary tells the stories of 5 asylum seekers who flee their native countries to escape homophobic violence. They face hurdles integrating into Canada, fear deportation and anxiously await a decision that will change their lives forever.
At the age of 5, Hannah Taylor spotted her first homeless person in the back alleys of Winnipeg. This experience not only troubled her, but it drove her to do nothing less than change the world. The Ladybug Foundation, the charity Hannah helped establish, has raised over a million dollars to date. With her huge heart and can-do attitude, she preaches a simple message of "Share a little of what you have and always care about others." As this short documentary proves, we all have a lot to learn from Hannah's story.
This short documentary follows several refugee families during their first 19 days in Canada, as they navigate an unfamiliar terrain that has suddenly become their home. Located in the quiet Calgary neighbourhood of Bridgeland, the Margaret Chisholm Resettlement Centre is the starting point for government-assisted refugees who arrive in the city. During the 19-day timeline established by the federal government, an initial assessment is done and refugees are assisted with everything from airport reception and orientation to referrals, documents, and counselling.
19 Days reveals the human side of the refugee resettlement process. A unique look at the global migration crisis and one particular stage of asylum, it lays plain the realities faced on the difficult road towards integration.
This 1957 documentary short offers an analysis of South Africa's acute race problem, an issue that causes dissension not only within its borders but within the Commonwealth and beyond. In South Africa, a country of 14 million people, 4 out of 5 people are black. The film gives a dispassionate appraisal of the motivations behind the policy of apartheid and of whether the practice of segregation provides a satisfactory, long-term solution.
The NFB's 63rd Oscar®-nominated film.
Shui-Bo Wang's feature documentary is a visual autobiography of an artist who grew up in China during the historic upheavals of the ‘60s, '70s and '80s. A rich collage of original artwork and family and archival photos presents a personal perspective on the turbulent Cultural Revolution and the years that followed. For Shui-Bo Wang and others of his generation, Tiananmen Square was the central symbol of the new China – a society to be based on equality and cooperation. This animated documentary artfully traces Shui-Bo's roots and his own life journey as he struggles to sort through ideology and arrive at truth.
This short documentary is a portrait of Martine Duviella, whose parents were forced to flee Haiti during the Duvalier regime. Here, Duviella recounts the story of her activist father and through him seeks to retrieve the forgotten past of a generation that sacrificed itself trying to free Haiti. In French with English subtitles.
This documentary was made as part of the Tremplin program, with the collaboration of Radio-Canada.
This documentary celebrates the vibrant culture and tenacious struggle of the Canadian Gypsy and introduces a new generation of Roma who claim their roots with pride. They call themselves by their rightful name, the Roma. Almost 80,000 call Canada home. Meet Julia Lovell, a passionate defender of Roma human rights, whose father is slowly gaining the confidence to reveal his heritage; and Karen Gray Boothroyd, a flamenco dancer just beginning to reclaim her Gypsy roots.
Filmed in the Indian Himalayas and in Canada, A Song for Tibet tells the dramatic story of the efforts by Tibetans in exile, including the Dalai Lama, to save their homeland and preserve their heritage against overwhelming odds. Since the invasion of their territory by China in the late 1950s, Tibetans have been struggling for cultural and political survival.
In this feature documentary, a Chilean filmmaker returns to the motherland for the first time in 23 years. Time is passing. A generation of young Chileans has grown up with no knowledge of the facts surrounding the military coup of September 11, 1973. In his suitcase, The Battle of Chile his 3-part cinéma vérité chronicle of the political tensions in Chile in 1973 and of the violent counterrevolution against the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende. His documentary toured the world but was never seen in Chile. Discreetly, he shows it to his friends and a small group of students. After the screening, the young people are in a state of shock. They have an urgent need to know the truth, for it is they who must build the Chile of tomorrow. In Spanish with English subtitles
Ages 16 to 17
Civics/Citizenship - Human Rights
Family Studies/Home Economics - Feminism
History and Citizenship Education - Culture and Currents of Thought (1500-present)
Social Studies - Contemporary Issues
After viewing and research, have students of drama, writing, contemporary society, and history create poetry, performance, or multi-media presentations on themes of revolution, immigration, activism, and loss. Have students of film and media studies study techniques for effective political storytelling, and the power of documentary film to effect change. Students of Middle Eastern Studies can explore the history of Iran and contrast it with contemporary Middle Eastern political events.