Manitoba

Manitoba

Discover Manitoba—from its big cities and rural areas to its small towns and remote communities—through a selection of films that shines a spotlight on the province’s hidden treasures and fascinating characters. Suitable for both primary and secondary level students, this playlist includes animated and documentary films. These seminal works from our collection address the topics that matter most, ranging from historical subjects to the most pressing issues of the day.

  • Freedom Road: Context

    This story begins over a century ago, when the City of Winnipeg decides that the water surrounding the traditional Anishinaabe territory of what is now Shoal Lake 40 First Nation will be diverted and used as Winnipeg’s primary water source. The community, their ancient burial grounds, environment, and ways of life are forever disrupted, and access to opportunities and essential services are severed. Enforced residential schooling and a tainted water supply compound the devastating impact. Community leader and former combat engineer Daryl Redsky sheds light on how generations of complex planning, cultural preservation and mobilization have led us to the current moment—and to the construction of Freedom Road.

    Freedom Road Series is a five-part documentary series that tells the inspiring story of one First Nation’s battle to resolve a brutal colonial legacy that uprooted and transformed a self-sustaining community into an isolated island, only a short distance from the Trans-Canada highway.

  • Jordan River Anderson, The Messenger
    2019|1 h 5 min

    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.

  • Second Stories - Honour Thy Father
    2008|21 min

    This short documentary takes a poignant look at cultural misunderstanding and its toll on a family's grief. When filmmaker Gerald Auger lost his father, the local Anglican priest refused to allow the family to bury their father in the traditional Cree way - with the drum and the smudge - because he was buried on Anglican church property. Gerald sets out to resolve his hurt and anger and his path leads him to some unexpected places.

    Second Stories follows on the heels of the enormously successful First Stories project, which produced 3 separate collections of short films from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. Second Stories builds on that success by continuing the training with 3 of the 12 Indigenous filmmakers who delivered such compelling short documentaries. Produced in association with CBC, APTN, SCN, SaskFilm and MANITOBA FILM & SOUND.

  • On Strike: The Winnipeg General Strike, 1919

    The dramatic story of the Winnipeg General Strike in 1919 told through the recollections of the men and women who were there. This presentation traces the events leading up to the strike; the issues, the personalities and the divisions among the people of Winnipeg. It culminates with the riot of June 21, 1919 in which death and serious injury resulted.

  • The Moccasin Game
    1983|13 min

    This film looks at the ritual, tradition and legend of the moccasin game, an ancient and popular form of gambling said to have originated with the Sioux. A tournament held at the Sioux Valley Reservation near Brandon, Manitoba, brings together Sioux from both Canada and the United States to compete for high stakes in what is believed to be the oldest sleight-of-hand game in the world.

  • this river

    This short documentary offers an Indigenous perspective on the devastating experience of searching for a loved one who has disappeared. Volunteer activist Kyle Kematch and award-winning writer Katherena Vermette have both survived this heartbreak and share their histories with each other and the audience. While their stories are different, they both exemplify the beauty, grace, resilience, and activism born out of the need to do something.

  • Homesteading on the Prairies
    1995|11 min

    Set in Manitoba in the 1890s, the story traces an Ontario farm family as they move west in search of cheap land. They experience travel on the recently completed CPR, build a sod house, battle a prairie fire and celebrate their first harvest.

  • Caribou Hunters
    1951|17 min

    A doc about the Cree and Chippewa people of northern Manitoba. Made in the mid 20th century, it is dated in tone, but provides insight into the vital relationship that existed between First Nations and the caribou herds that sustained them.

  • Niigaanibatowaad: FrontRunners
    campus 2007 | 47 min

    At a special ceremony during the opening of the 1999 Pan Am Games in Winnipeg, Manitoba, seven Indigenous men in their fifties entered the stadium in war canoes. One of them held the Games torch. In 1967 when Winnipeg first hosted the Pan American Games, ten outstanding athletic teenage boys were chosen to run 800 kilometers over an ancient message route with the Games torch. When the runners arrived at the stadium, they were not allowed to enter with the torch. Instead, a non-Indigenous runner was given the honour. Thirty-two-years later, the province of Manitoba issued an official apology.

    Nine of the ten young men chosen for the 1967 Pan Am Games torch run were from residential schools. Niigaanibatowaad is about the segregation of the Indigenous athletes and the despair and abuse suffered in the school system. Niigaanibatowaad: FrontRunners is a story of survival, hope, reconciliation and a dream for a new beginning that transcends hatred and racism.

  • Our People Will Be Healed
    2017|1 h 37 min

    Our People Will Be Healed, Alanis Obomsawin’s 50th film, reveals how a Cree community in Manitoba has been enriched through the power of education. The Helen Betty Osborne Ininiw Education Resource Centre in Norway House, north of Winnipeg, receives a level of funding that few other Indigenous institutions enjoy. Its teachers help their students to develop their abilities and their sense of pride.

  • Margaret Laurence, First Lady of Manawaka
    1978|52 min

    This feature documentary is a portrait of one of Canada's most celebrated authors, Margaret Laurence. Born in a small Prairie town in Manitoba, Laurence remained haunted by the images of this small Presbyterian home town. This film traces her life from the early days and introduces us to her characters, whom we meet through readings from her work by Canadian actress Jayne Eastwood. The film blends fact with fiction to give its audience a strong impression of who this very private person really was.

  • What If?
    2011|5 min

    "Always remember to play," says Leslee Silverman, the visionary force behind the Manitoba Theatre for Young People, to 10-year-old William. The little boy stands at centre stage, rehearsing an exciting new role - that of Leslee Silverman.

    Silverman observes with her customary wisdom and good humour. Drawing from Winnipeg's rich cultural tradition, she engages young people in the adventure of theatre, fired by the conviction that art belongs to everyone.

    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.

  • Louise
    2003|10 min

    This animated short is an ode to Louise, a fiercely independent 96-year old inspired by animator Anita Lebeau's grandmother. Speaking in her own voice, Louise takes us through a day in her busy life near the town of Bruxelles, in rural Manitoba. Between coping with garden gophers and reaching cupboards that have grown taller, Louise's plans sometimes miscarry, her sense of humour is foolproof.

  • The Tournament
    2020|22 min

    Over the course of a weekend tournament, youth sledge hockey teams from the U.S. and Canada battle for supremacy. Designed for players who have a physical challenge, the fundaments of the sport — passing, shooting, trash talking your opponents – remain the same. Director Sam Vint captures the end-to-end action as the Manitoba Sledgehammers do it all.

  • Ted Baryluk's Grocery

    This short documentary profiles Ukrainian-Canadian Ted Baryluk, whose grocery store has been a fixture in Winnipeg's North End for over 20 years. In this photo study, Ted talks about his store, the customers who have come and gone and the social changes his multicultural neighbourhood has seen. But most of all he wonders what will become of his store after he retires. He hopes his daughter will take over, but she wants to move away. The film is a wistful rendering of a shopkeeper's relationship with his daughter and a fascinating portrait of a neighbourhood and its inhabitants.