Beginning November 27, Westwood library will be hosting an NFB Film Club, featuring free films from the NFB’s vast collection. Watching a documentary in Westwood library’s cozy basement is a great way to spend a cold Thursday night – and don’t forget to stay for a short, spirited discussion of the film after the screening!
Below are descriptions of the films and their respective screening times. Call 204-986-4742 to register.
Thursday, November 27 at 6 p.m.
This feature documentary examines its own genre, which has often been called Canada’s national art form. Released in the year of the NFB’s 75th birthday, Shameless Propaganda is filmmaker Robert Lower’s take on the boldest and most compelling propaganda effort in our history (1939-1945), in which founding NFB Commissioner John Grierson saw the documentary as a “hammer to shape society.” All 500 of the films produced by the NFB until 1945 are distilled here for the essence of their message to Canadians. Using only these films and still photos from that era, Lower recreates the picture of Canada they gave us and looks in it for the Canada we know today. What he finds is by turns enlightening, entertaining, and unexpectedly disturbing.
Documentary/71 minutes. Rated G.
Out of Mind, Out of Sight
Thursday, December 4 at 6 p.m.
This feature documentary profiles four residents of the Brockville Mental Health Centre, a forensic psychiatric hospital for people who have committed violent crimes. Four patients—two men and two women—struggle to gain control over their lives so they can return to a society that often fears and demonizes them. Shrouded in stigma, institutions like this one are places into which patients disappear from public view for years. Four-time Emmy winner John Kastner was granted unprecedented access to the Brockville facility for 18 months, allowing 46 patients and 75 staff to share their experiences with stunning frankness. Documentary/88 min. Rated PG.
Thursday, December 11 at 6 p.m.
This feature documentary delves into the rich history of Canadian queer women’s experiences in the mid-20th century. Compelling, often hilarious and always rebellious, the women interviewed in this film recount stories about their search for the places where openly gay women gathered in urban centres. Contemporary interviews, archival footage, and a stylized fictional narrative based on the pulp novels of the 1950s are woven throughout this simultaneously funny, heartbreaking, and empowering film. Forbidden Love brings an important and empowering history of lesbian sexuality in Canada out of the closet. Documentary/84 minutes. Rated PA. (This film contains scenes of nudity and/or sexuality. Viewer discretion is advised.)