This short film was an experiment in using video recordings and closed circuit television to stimulate social action in a poor Montreal neighbourhood. A citizen's committee filmed people's concerns and then played back the tapes for the community. Upon recognizing their common problems, people began to talk about joint solutions. It proved an important and effective method of promoting social change.

From the playlist : Challenge for Change

VTR St-Jacques is the 16mm film document of CFC/SN's pioneering experiment with community video production. Dorothy Todd Hénaut, the central NFB figure in its VTR initiative with the Comité des citoyens de St-Jacques in downtown Montreal, wrote in the fourth issue of the CFC/SN newsletter (of which she was the founding editor), "the videotape recording project in St-Jacques is an attempt to extend to its logical conclusion the conviction that people should participate in shaping their own lives, which means among other things directing and manipulating the tools of modern communication necessary to gaining and exercising that participation."

— Thomas Waugh, Ezra Winton, Michael Baker

Comments

  • jhernandez1214

    “I I definitely can see why the people of St. Jacques are so fed up with their current situation. There living conditions are no good and it is affecting their health as well. As you can see when the gentleman went to the welfare office to try and get help he was rejected because he just came out of jail. It goes to show you that even when you try to do the right thing your not even recognized. There are no jobs and the government doesn't seem to do much. I don't agree with the man who said women shouldn't work i feel like both men and women should make their own money.” — jhernandez1214, 9 Feb 2011

  • Anastasia

    “ believe it or not some of us are still living in this country without no health insurance jobs and some of us can barely eat. the St Jacque commity just wanted to show living proof people speakin out their struggles hopin to get the right attention.” — Anastasia, 4 Feb 2011

  • afiul

    “Hey to everyone from class! It's Ari. I never thought something like this existed. Very different from most of the "objective" journalists I see on television today i.e. Fox News. One of the journalists in this film became extremely angry that he was being filmed and asked questions. I thought that was interesting. You'd think that maybe they'd like the experience of being on the other side of the camera. Why did this Challenge for Change Committee cease to exist in 1980? I tried to quickly find the answer to this question on Google without any luck.” — afiul, 3 Feb 2011

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Film Credits

director
Bonnie Sherr Klein
producer
George C. Stoney
camera
Réo Grégoire
Roger Rochat
sound
Richard Besse
editing
Ulla Ryghe

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