Featuring a diverse cast—including celebrated philosophers, trauma surgeons, factory workers, refugees, and politicians—What Is Democracy? connects past and present, emotion and the intellect, the personal and the political, to provoke and inspire. If we want to live in democracy, we must first ask what the word even means.
Raised in a refugee camp in the West Bank while her mother was in prison, Walaa dreams of becoming a policewoman in the Palestinian Security Forces (PSF). Despite discouragement from her family, even her beloved brother Mohammed, Walaa applies and gets in. But her own rebellious behaviour and complicated relationship with her mother are challenging, as are the circumstances under which she lives.
Following Walaa from 15-21, with an intimate POV, What Walaa Wants is the compelling story of a defiant young girl navigating formidable obstacles, learning which rules to break and follow, and disproving the negative predictions from her surroundings and the world at large.
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.
In 1937, tens of thousands of Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent were exterminated by the Dominican army on the basis of anti-black racism. Fast-forward to 2013: the Dominican Republic’s Supreme Court stripped the citizenship of anyone with Haitian parents, retroactive to 1929, rendering more than 200,000 people stateless. Director Michèle Stephenson’s new documentary follows the grassroots campaign of a young attorney named Rosa Iris, as she challenges electoral corruption and fights to protect the right to citizenship for all people.
Celebrate Black Canadian cinema with the NFB. Explore our collection of films from Black filmmakers across Canada.
Please note: This film contains explicit language. Viewer discretion is advised.
John Ware Reclaimed follows filmmaker Cheryl Foggo on her quest to re-examine the mythology surrounding John Ware, the Black cowboy who settled in Alberta, Canada, before the turn of the 20th century. Foggo’s research uncovers who this iconic figure might have been, and what his legacy means in terms of anti-Black racism, both past and present.
On August 9, 2016, a young Cree man named Colten Boushie died from a gunshot to the back of his head after entering Gerald Stanley’s rural property with his friends. The jury’s subsequent acquittal of Stanley captured international attention, raising questions about racism embedded within Canada’s legal system and propelling Colten’s family to national and international stages in their pursuit of justice. Sensitively directed by Tasha Hubbard, nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up weaves a profound narrative encompassing the filmmaker’s own adoption, the stark history of colonialism on the Prairies, and a vision of a future where Indigenous children can live safely on their homelands.
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
In 2013, an ancient statue of Apollo was found in the waters off Gaza—before disappearing under mysterious circumstances. Is it the work of forgers, or a gift from the gods to a Palestinian people desperately in need of hope? Soon the rumours start to swirl, while behind the scenes local and international players start jostling—some driven by historical preservation and others by purely commercial interests. Filmed in Gaza and Jerusalem, The Apollo of Gaza plays out like a mystery built around a national treasure that is the stuff of dreams. The Apollo of Gaza is an engaging reflection on the passage of time and the fragility of civilizations, as well as a poetic and philosophical meditation that immerses us in the often-misunderstood realities of life in a place that continues to pay a heavy price for the seemingly endless Israeli-Palestinian conflict—a place where life doggedly carries on, resisting. Like a meteor streaking across the sky, the statue of Apollo brings a moment of light and beauty to Gaza. Can it help restore dignity to a people, revealing a glorious history and fostering pride in a nation often misrepresented and demeaned?
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
In the second installment, "Concrete" explores how, in New York City and globally, residential high-rises and public housing attempted to foster social equality in the 20th century. The film is narrated and directed by Katerina Cizek in collaboration with the New York Times em>.
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.
In the first installment, "Mud" traces the historical roots of the residential highrise, from the biblical Tower of Babel to the tenement buildings of New York. The film is narrated by singer-songwriter Feist, and is directed by Katerina Cizek in collaboration with the New York Times em>.