NFB offers early gifts

Brief: Canadian Film

The National Film Board of Canada wants you to unwrap your present of Canadian presence, offering 20 award-winning movies on-line for free, starting today

By Katherine Monk

(December 7, 2017) —  Naughty? Nice? No matter. The National Film Board is giving everyone a gift by posting 20 award-winning movies on-line — for free. Starting today, Canadian film fans can take in an assortment of documentaries and animated films, including Sarah Polley’s The Stories We Tell, a timeless portrait of her own family and its secrets, as well as Mina Shum’s Ninth Floor, a documentary about racial tensions at Concordia and the scars that linger decades later.

Perhaps best suited to the Christmas season is Payback, Jennifer Baichwal’s big screen take on Margaret Atwood’s Massey Lecture outlining the unspoken balance sheet that exists between humans.

“We all have these scales of acknowledged or unacknowledged balances in our heads. Some are family things. Some are friendship things. Some are affiliation things,” Atwood said in an earlier interview. “If you let the wrong people into your life, you feel taken.”

Baichwal’s film explores all the angles of feeling personally fleeced and emotionally exploited as Atwood performs the forensic audit on personal relationships. She could even spur you into performing your own friendship inventory, so get ready for some uncomfortable realizations because just about every human dynamic is unbalanced.

If you’re looking for an escape from all the seasonal stress or any mention of debt, take a ride on Secretariat — the iconic thoroughbred that won the triple crown in 1973. Canadian jockey Ron Turcotte was at the reins for that legendary gallop into history, but Turcotte’s own story didn’t have such a happy ending. Phil Comeau’s documentary feature tells of Turcotte’s tragic fall that left him a paraplegic, but it also takes us down the home stretch through the eyes of a professional jockey — where life is an adrenaline-soaked race on a high-strung, hugely expensive, and tragically delicate animal.

Also available for free streaming are Andrea Dorfman’s politically timely Big Mouth (about people who talk too much); Julien Capraro’s The Last Key, the story of a French immigrant in Vancouver with a Citroen 2C; Phyllis Grant’s Waseteg, an animated film about a little girl whose name means ‘light from dawn;’ Nisreen Baker’s controversial Things Arab Men Say and Paris 1919, a dramatic look at the peace talks that created a new world order after the Great War.

But that’s not all. Also featured: The Socalled Movie, Home Cooked Music, How Does it Feel, Tying Your Own Shoes, Fight, Hope Builders, From Sherbrooke to Brooks: Inside a Migration Corridor, A Sea Turtle Story, Kaspar (Inspired by the Life of Kaspar Hauser), Paula and My Heart Attack.

For more information, visit


THE EX-PRESS, December 7, 2017


1 Reply to "NFB offers early gifts"

  • David Chesney December 7, 2017 (9:01 am)

    Thank you for sharing this story and links. I really wish they had posted them up on YOUTUBE so I could stream them on my APPLE TV but this is better than nothing. Merry Christmas Ex-pressers! Looking forward to more great movie news from you in the New Year.

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