Shot unscripted and unrehearsed, this NFB documentary series for television is a seminal offering in the history of doc filmmaking.

  • Blood and Fire

    This short documentary by Terence Macartney-Filgate focuses on the men and women who dedicated their lives and service to the Salvation Army. Part of the Candid Eye series.

  • A Foreign Language
    1958|29 min

    This short documentary focuses on a Montreal public school where thousands of immigrant children learn English for the first time. Part of the Candid Eye series.

  • Country Threshing
    1958|29 min

    This short documentary records the rural sights and sounds of the Chateauguay Valley of Quebec. The day of the big stationary threshing machine is almost over, as the machine is pushed into obscurity by the combine harvester. But there are still parts of Canada where crops are gathered in the old-fashioned way as the men work out in the fields and the women manage the kitchen. This film offers a rare and charming glimpse into mid-20th-century rural and family life in Canada.

  • Pilgrimage

    This short documentary by Terence Macartney-Filgate focuses on the never-ending pilgrimage to Montreal's St. Joseph's Oratory. A beautiful shrine set against Mount Royal, the Oratory draws pilgrims by the thousands every year – by plane, by bus, and on foot. What's the draw? Watch this film, and listen to Brother Placide Vermandère tell you all about it.

  • Memory of Summer
    1958|30 min

    An attempt to recapture the magic of childhood as the cameras follow children at play.

  • Police

    The misbehaving public performs for the camera in a half-hour miscellany of misdeeds. In a behind-the-scenes look at the hour-by-hour operation of a large metropolitan police force, this film presents a fair sampling of what keeps Toronto's police officers busy twenty-four hours a day.

  • The Days Before Christmas

    This short documentary depicts Christmas time in Montreal. The milling crowds, department store Santas, Brink's messengers, kindergarten angels and boisterous nightclubs all combine to make a vivid portrait of the holidays.

  • Glenn Gould - Off the Record
    1959|29 min

    In this short documentary, Canadian concert pianist Glenn Gould enjoys a respite at his lakeside cottage. This is an aspect of Gould previously known only to the collie pacing beside him through the woods, the fishermen resting their oars to hear his piano, and fellow musicians like Franz Kraemer, with whom Gould talks of composition.

  • Glenn Gould - On the Record
    1959|29 min

    This short documentary follows Glenn Gould to New York City. There, we see the renowned Canadian concert pianist kidding the cab driver, bantering with sound engineers at Columbia Records, and then, alone with the piano, fastidiously recording Bach's Italian Concerto.

  • Emergency Ward
    1959|29 min

    This 1959 documentary short is a frank portrait of the daily operations inside the Montreal General Hospital’s emergency ward.

  • The Back-breaking Leaf

    Here is a graphic picture of the tobacco harvest in southwestern Ontario. At the end of July, transient field workers move in for a brief bonanza when the plant is ripe. The tobacco harvesters call it "the back-breaking leaf."

  • End of the Line

    This documentary short offers a nostalgic look at the steam locomotive as it passes from reality to history. In its heyday, the big smoke-belching steam engine seemed immortal. Now, powerful and efficient diesels are pushing the old coal-burning locomotives to the sidelines, and the lonely echo of their whistles may soon be a thing of the past.

  • Festival in Puerto Rico
    1961|27 min

    This short documentary features Canadian contralto Maureen Forrester as she sings at the Festival Casals, a musical event founded by the great Spanish cellist and conductor Pablo Casals and sponsored annually by the Puerto Rican government. Part concert film, part tourism film, Festival in Puerto Rico offers viewers candid glimpses of mid-20th century Puerto Rico intercut with performance footage of Forrester and her husband, violinist-conductor Eugene Kash.

  • The Cars in Your Life

    Terence Macartney-Filgate (The Back-breaking Leaf) takes a light, humorous look at the automobile circa 1960, and the Great American itch for a place on the road. From a used-car lot to the public highways, slow-motion and stylized photography provide a provocative, revealing look at a people’s obsession with cars.