Nine days in Halifax. Four world premieres. Eight Atlantic premieres. Enjoy...
This is the story of Joseph Rotblat, the only nuclear scientist to leave the Manhattan Project, the U.S. government’s secret program to build the first atomic bomb. His was a decision based on moral grounds. The film retraces the history of nuclear weapons, from the first test in New Mexico, to Hiroshima, where we see survivors of the first atomic attack. Branded a traitor and spy, Rotblat went from designing atomic bombs to researching the medical uses of radiation. Together with Bertrand Russell he helped create the modern peace movement, and eventually won the Nobel Peace Prize. Featuring interviews with contemporaries of Rotblat and passionate public figures including Senator Roméo Dallaire, The Strangest Dream demonstrates the renewed threat of nuclear weapons and encourages hope through the example of morally engaged scientists and citizens.
Ariel Nasr's documentary gives voice to the complex dilemmas faced by contemporary Afghanis under Canadian intervention. The film introduces us to young Afghan-Canadians torn between a deep desire to help Afghanistan and a fear that things will never change. Good Morning Kandahar asks whether Canada's mission in Afghanistan is failing. This film was produced as part of the Reel Diversity Competition for emerging filmmakers of colour. Reel Diversity is a National Film Board of Canada initiative in partnership with CBC Newsworld.
It was news that shook the English-speaking world. Celebrated British explorer Sir John Franklin and his crew of 128 men had perished in the Arctic ice during an ill-fated attempt to discover the Northwest Passage. More shocking, they had descended into madness and cannibalism. The report came in 1851, from John Rae, a Scottish doctor working for the Hudson's Bay Company. Travelling thousands of miles on foot and in small craft, Rae had done what six years of searching by the British, Americans, French and Russians had failed to do - discover the fate of Franklin and unlock the final link in the Passage - a 300-year-old dream. But Rae's horrific news did not sit well with Sir John's widow, Lady Franklin, nor with many others in British society, including Charles Dickens. They waged a bitter public campaign that would discredit Rae's version of events, banish him to the margins of history and mark an entire nation of northern Inuit with the horrifying label of murderous cannibals. With Passage, filmmaker John Walker employs an innovative approach to structuring the incredible multilayered story of John Rae and brings it to vibrant life. Using a unique blend of dramatic action, and behind-the-scenes documentary footage, Walker pulls back the curtain on his own research into Rae's life and that of his actors, as they determine how to portray the characters and scenes in the film. The line between real and dramatic begins to blur as we move closer and closer to the film's cilimax, a stunning face-to-face meeting between Charles Dickens's great-great grandson and Tagak Curley, an honoured Inuit statesman who challenges the fraudulent history. In one moment, Walker vaults the story from the past into the present and we are witness to history in the making. Set in the actual locations of Rae's journey, from his boyhood home in the remote Orkney Islands off Scotland's north coast to the epic landscape of his Arctic expeditions to the boardroom of the British Royal Navy - the centre of power of the British Empire, Passage is a story of incredible sacrifice, stunning distortion of the truth and single-minded obsession. It challenges the way we look at history.
This documentary looks at some former Israeli soldiers, most under age 25, who fly to India after being discharged from the military. About 90 per cent will use drugs during their stay, and each year some 2,000 of them will need professional help after a psychotic episode referred to as “flipping out.” From the guest houses of northern India to the beach resorts of Goa, the film reveals the pervasive culture of drugs and hedonism that leaves some of these young people battling for their sanity.
This documentary introduces us to Stephen Jenkinson, the leader of a palliative care counselling team at Toronto's Mount Sinai Hospital. Through his daytime job, he has been at the deathbed of well over 1,000 people. What he sees over and over, he says, is "a wretched anxiety and an existential terror" even when there is no pain. Indicting the practice of palliative care itself, he has made it his life's mission to change the way we die - to turn the act of dying from denial and resistance into an essential part of life.
In this short abstract-impressionist film the animation and music were made simultaneously in an organic process of symbiotic creativity. Filmmaker Iriz Pääbo tells the highly subjective story of a complete hockey game using a new cinematic vocabulary she calls "animbits." Pääbo readily admits she is not the biggest fan of Canada's national game, so the great, though highly underappreciated NHL stalwart of the '60s and '70s, Eric Nesterenko, was her hockey muse in this artistic journey. A lyrical and wonderfully unorthodox interpretation of hockey.