The upcoming documentary, A Desert Between Us and Them: Raiders, Traitors and Refugees in the War of 1812, tells the story of the American raids on an undefended Upper Canadian peninsula (now Southwestern Ontario) during the War of 1812. Rather than give a straight military account, A Desert Between Us and Them focuses on the civilians caught in the war – people who were faced with food shortages, constant pressure to change allegiance, thousands of refugees, and the eventual abandonment of Southwestern Ontario by the British army. War was not remote. It came up to their doorsteps, into their homes and changed their lives forever.
Arguably the most famous film ever shot in Canada, Robert Flaherty’s Nanook of the North was first shown to the public 90 years ago in New York City and then around the world in the summer of 1922. It caused an immediate sensation with its real-life depiction of the people and their struggle to survive the harsh landscape of Canada’s Far North. The film went on to exert considerable influence on the development of documentary films worldwide, although the word “documentary” was not in use when the film was made. It came later, in 1926, when Scottish film critic John Grierson, the man who would go on to create the National Film Board of Canada in 1939, coined the word to describe Moana of the South Seas, another Flaherty film.
We’ve just discovered the website, From C to C: Chinese Canadian Stories of Migration, replete with interviews, primary documents and a nifty, moving timeline of the Chinese Canadian experience, from migration to exclusion to integration. The website, in support of an upcoming documentary on the Chinese Exclusion Act, is a feast for the historically inclined. […]