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Poets on Film (Ages 12-14)

Poets on Film (Ages 12-14)

Discover a playlist that focus on the beauty, power, and artistry of Canadian poetry. These films touch on the importance of a creative outlet for young students, and will inspire them to create timeless works of their own.

Pour visionner cette sélection en français, cliquez ici.

Films in This Playlist Include
Unarmed Verses
Trawna Tuh Belvul
The Cremation of Sam McGee
John McCrae's War: In Flanders Fields
Window Horses
Song of Eskasoni
Petra’s Poem

  • Aloud/Bagatelle
    1983|6 min

    Canadian poet Earle Birney indulges his love of trains in this performance of his sound poem To Swindon from London by Britrail. In fluent "trainish," he interprets the experience of excursions by rail. Imagination sparked by the rhythm of wheels and the clink of couplings, Birney hums, hisses and hoots his way through archival footage of vintage trains and the English countryside. A must for language, animation and train buffs.

  • Unarmed Verses
    2016|1 h 25 min

    This feature documentary presents a thoughtful and vivid portrait of a community facing imposed relocation. At the centre of the story is a remarkably astute and luminous 12-year-old black girl whose poignant observations about life, the soul, and the power of art give voice to those rarely heard in society. Unarmed Verses is a cinematic rendering of our universal need for self-expression and belonging.

  • Window Horses
    campus 2016 | 1 h 29 min

    This feature-length animated film centres around the story of Rosie Ming, a young Canadian poet invited to perform at a Poetry Festival in Shiraz, Iran. Rosie lives in Vancouver with her over-protective Chinese grandparents, and has never been anywhere on her own. But once in Iran, she finds herself in the company of poets and Persians, all of whom tell her stories about her past, the Iranian father she had assumed abandoned her, and about the nature of poetry itself. This is a film about love, finding your own path, and learning how to forgive.

  • Trawna Tuh Belvul
    1994|14 min

    This animated short film is an interpretation of Earle Birney's poem “Trawna Tuh Belvul by Knayjim Psifik.” Using finely crafted cut-out animation, the film retells a memorable experience of the journey from Toronto to Belleville, Ontario.

  • Song of Eskasoni
    1993|28 min

    Eskasoni is the home of celebrated Mi’kmaq poet Rita Joe. This Cape Breton village is enjoying a revival of Indigenous traditions and spirituality which inspires much of Rita Joe's writing. For twenty years her poetry and her presence have touched thousands with dignity. This video is a celebration of the spiritual pride of the Mi’kmaq as embodied in Rita Joe's writings and her life.

  • John McCrae's War: In Flanders Fields
    1998|46 min

    This feature documentary profiles poet John McCrae, from his childhood in Ontario to his years in medicine at McGill University and the WWI battlefields of Belgium, where he cared for wounded soldiers. Generations of schoolchildren have recited McCrae’s iconic poem “In Flanders Fields,” but McCrae and Alexis Helmer—the young man whose death inspired the poem—have faded from memory. This film seeks to revive their stories through a vivid portrait of a great man in Canadian history.

  • Petra's Poem
    2012|4 min

    In this short film, Toronto artist Petra Tolley, who has Down syndrome, performs a soliloquy that encapsulates her distinctive take on the social self. Drawing from her emotional experiences, she illustrates what it feels like to be “in the middle.” Employing rotoscopy, hand-drawn animation techniques and subtle stereoscopic 3D, the film captures Petra as she engages the camera with unflinching directness and dignity.

  • The Cremation of Sam McGee
    1990|7 min

    Every child's favourite adventure story comes to life in a lavishly illustrated poem by Robert W. Service. Using camera-animated artwork by Yukon artist Ted Harrison, this production is designed to introduce the rich world of Canadian literature in an entertaining way and give students a good foundation for the appreciation of art.