Documentary

CBC

CBC's 'The Story Of Us' Forgot About Canadians Like Me

Watching the CBC's 10-part television series Canada: The Story Of Us had me figuratively scratching my head. It left me flabbergasted and astounded. Critics have decried the series' anglo-centric slant on history. Respect should come from all sides, beginning with cordiality, recognition and representation.
greenpeace

Greenpeace Sparked a Revolution. It's Time For Another

My father, Robert Hunter, had coined the term "mind bomb" as an expression that our greatest tool for revolution was our own consciousness. He believed that mass media (early broadcast media at the time) could help spark that consciousness shift and a societal shift by changing the story of our times. The reality is the tides are turning. Despite the stories of impossibility in the fight against climate change, there are some new stories being written of possibility. It will still take many more of us -- millions and billions of us -- to continue to share these news stories and to create the "mind bomb" moments.
Shutterstock

'Not Criminally Responsible' Patients Come Out of the Shadows

Most high-profile NCR patients -- that is, sufferers of mental illness who have committed horrific acts of violence and have been declared "not criminally responsible" by the courts -- are usually kept well-hidden from public view. But on Wednesday, October 8, another high-profile NCR patient, Sean Clifton, who tried his best to stab to death a complete stranger because his psychosis led him to believe he had to kill "the prettiest girl in the mall," will bravely step on stage to face the public after the screening of my documentary NCR: Not Criminally Responsible, in which he is featured.
shutterstock

Documentaries May Be Cool, But They Aren't Making Money

Canadian governments and broadcasters have been quietly withdrawing all support for documentary. Commercial television, now concentrated in the hands of a few megacorps, does its shareholder diligence by playing strictly to the cheap seats; its screens are filled with sporting fights, gun-toting men, bouncing breasts and dancing cats. Federal governments, increasingly influenced by neo-liberal doctrine, have been shrinking the NFB and CBC for a generation now while refusing to enforce license conditions which might force TV to create a little public parkland within the malling of our mindscapes.
Fort McMoney

The Many Global Citizens Living in Fort McMoney

For about two weeks now, everyone who stops by our office has been wondering the same thing: Why do we keep glancing obsessively at a second screen, over there on the side of the room to the left? That second screen shows a small map of the world, scrolling bars and a number that changes constantly: the number of people playing Fort McMoney at this very moment.
Getty

Fort McMoney: Make Your Worldview Triumph!

In a few days, Fort McMoney will finally emerge after more than two years of gestation. The experience is going to plunge you into the heart of the black gold rush and let you explore the city, interact with its residents, and address questions to oil industry bosses and environmental activists. The Fort McMoney experience will be a kind of web-era platform for direct democracy. The winner, if there is one, will be the battle of ideas.
handout

VIFF 2013: 'Finding Vivian Maier' Reviewed

In 2007, Chicago-based historian and collector John Maloof discovered 100,000 negatives and hundreds of hours of Super 8 film footage and audio recordings which he acquired during a storage locker auction. What he didn't know was he was on the cusp of uncovering some of the most prolific American street photography of the 20th century. Vivian Maier spent next forty years working as a nanny for various families of Chicago's upper crust neighborhoods. She also spent much of her time with a Rolleiflex camera hanging from her neck, shooting people and scenes around the city, a hobby she kept quiet throughout her life. Her subjects ranged from the rich and affluent to the poor and impoverished with a penchant for politics and highlighting historical moments.
Getty

Can Documentary Films Be Catalysts For Change?

I'm often asked: Do you really believe in change? And while I acknowledge that it's hard to be hopeful sometimes, I do, undeniably, believe that a better world is always possible. This is where documentaries play a significant cultural sociopolitical role. They are the narratives of our times.

Roméo Dallaire's Fight to Make Child Soldiers an Oxymoron

Fight Like Soldiers, Die Like Children humanizes the global struggle to end the use of children in armed conflict. Pushing aside the morass of international norms and NGO reports -- important and useful as they are -- Dallaire asks a simple yet harrowing question: how is it that we can go "apeshit" -- to use his word -- when our own children's rights are violated, but passively accept the reality of child soldiers throughout the world?