The “National Film Board of Canada” (l’Office national du film du Canada) is a federal arm length agency which produces films of various lengths.
If you’ve driven through Montréal on the 40, you may have seen their national headquarters alongside the freeway. They also have offices around the country (you’ve likely seen their offices on 104th in Edmonton, or in other cities around the country such as Toronto and Vancouver).
Of the thousands of films they have produced, they’ve also won thousands of awards, including 12 Academy awards.
Some of their films are now Canadian and Québec classics, instantly recognizable across Canada. Examples are The Sweater by Roch Carrier and The Log Driver’s Waltz by John Weldon.
The NFB / ONF has a great website, as well an APP you can download for your iOS or Android device. They include dozens and dozens of free films in an array of categories: classics, history, documentaries, and other ways Canadians have viewed themselves and the world throughout the last several decades.
There are good number of films from Québec, subtitled in English, which provides perspectives from that angle (including some films from the pre-Quiet Revolution era and during the Quiet Revolution). It’s a good way to get a little more acquainted with episodes in our history by viewing life, rather than just reading about it.
The website address is here: https://www.nfb.ca/
- Under “Films” at the top, click “Channels” to gain access to all the categories
- Under “Films” at the top, click “Explore” to gain access to the entire online film directory.
- You can toggle between French and English at the top if you want to switch languages. This will change the narration language for many of the films.
Have a look around the site. It will give you hours of entertainment. You’ll likely run into a good number of things about our history that you likely didn’t know before, both on Anglophone life and history, Francophone life and history – as well things we definitely share in common. It’s a great way to gain an additional perspective.
Enjoy your trip through our history and culture!