NFB Film Club

Human Rights Day Logo

Human Rights Day

Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December — the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The UDHR is a milestone document that proclaims the inalienable rights which everyone is entitled to as a human being - regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Available in more than 500 languages, it is the most translated document in the world.

-from United Nations


 

   19 Days19 Days

   Directed by Asha Siad & Roda Siad

   2016 | 26 min

 

This short documentary follows several refugee families during their first 19 days in Canada, as they navigate an unfamiliar terrain that has suddenly become their home. Located in the quiet Calgary neighbourhood of Bridgeland, the Margaret Chisholm Resettlement Centre is the starting point for government-assisted refugees who arrive in the city. During the 19-day timeline established by the federal government, an initial assessment is done and refugees are assisted with everything from airport reception and orientation to referrals, documents, and counselling.

19 Days reveals the human side of the refugee resettlement process. A unique look at the global migration crisis and one particular stage of asylum, it lays plain the realities faced on the difficult road towards integration.

 

nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up  nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up

   Directed by Tasha Hubbard

   2019 | 1 hour 38 min

 

THIS FILM DEALS WITH MATURE SUBJECT MATTER. VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.

On August 9, 2016, a young Cree man named Colten Boushie died from a gunshot to the back of his head after entering Gerald Stanley’s rural property with his friends. The jury’s subsequent acquittal of Stanley captured international attention, raising questions about racism embedded within Canada’s legal system and propelling Colten’s family to national and international stages in their pursuit of justice. Sensitively directed by Tasha Hubbard, nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up weaves a profound narrative encompassing the filmmaker’s own adoption, the stark history of colonialism on the Prairies, and a vision of a future where Indigenous children can live safely on their homelands

 

The Tree That Remembers  The Tree That Remembers

   Directed by Masoud Raouf

   2002 | 50 min

 

THIS FILM DEALS WITH MATURE SUBJECT MATTER. VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.

In 1992 a young Iranian student hanged himself on the outskirts of a small Ontario town. Having escaped the Ayatollah's regime and found a new home in Canada, he could not escape his past. In this film, Masoud Raouf documents the experiences of Iranian-Canadians - former political prisoners like himself - who were active in the Iranian democratic movement and continue to struggle with the past.

For more background information about this film, please visit the NFB.ca blog.

 

Fat Chance

  Fat Chance

   Directed by Jeff McKay

   1994 | 1 hour 12 min

 

THIS FILM CONTAINS SCENES WITH MATURE SUBJECT MATTER. VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.

This documentary follows Rick Zakowich as he faces his lifelong struggles with his weight and body image. Child therapist by day and blues singer by night, Rick's charisma and talent are undeniable, yet he remains fixed within the definition of a narrow label. The film takes on appearance-based oppression and fat-shaming by examining the ways in which society treats people whose bodies don’t necessarily match a narrow, unrealistic ideal of attractiveness. Instead of losing weight, Rick gains valuable insight, transformative new friendships, and a profound sense of self-confidence.

 

Every Child  Every Child

   Directed by Eugene Fedorenko

   1979 | 6 min

 

This animated short follows an unwanted baby who is passed from house to house until he is taken in and cared for by two homeless men. The film is the Canadian contribution to an hour-long feature film celebrating UNESCO's Year of the Child (1979). It illustrates one of the ten principles of the Declaration of Children's Rights: every child is entitled to a name and a nationality. The film took home an Oscar® for Best Animated Short Film.

 

 Status Quo? Status Quo? The Unfinished Business of Feminism in Canada

   Directed by Karen Cho

   2012 | 1 hour 27 min

 

Feminism has shaped the society we live in. But just how far has it brought us, and how relevant is it today? This feature documentary zeroes in on key concerns such as violence against women, access to abortion, and universal childcare, asking how much progress we have truly made on these issues. Rich with archival material and startling contemporary stories, Status Quo? uncovers answers that are provocative and at times shocking.

 

Finding Dawn  Finding Dawn

   Directed by Christine Welsh

   2006 | 1 hour 13 min

 

Acclaimed Métis filmmaker Christine Welsh brings us a compelling documentary that puts a human face on a national tragedy – the epidemic of missing or murdered Indigenous women in Canada. The film takes a journey into the heart of Indigenous women's experience, from Vancouver's skid row, down the Highway of Tears in northern BC, and on to Saskatoon, where the murders and disappearances of these women remain unsolved.

 

Opre Roma  Opre Roma: Gypsies in Canada

   Directed by Tony Papa

   1999 | 52 min

 

This documentary celebrates the vibrant culture and tenacious struggle of the Canadian Gypsy and introduces a new generation of Roma who claim their roots with pride. They call themselves by their rightful name, the Roma. Almost 80,000 call Canada home. Meet Julia Lovell, a passionate defender of Roma human rights, whose father is slowly gaining the confidence to reveal his heritage; and Karen Gray Boothroyd, a flamenco dancer just beginning to reclaim her Gypsy roots.

 

Last Chance  Last Chance

   Directed by Paul Émile d'Entremont

   2012 | 1 hour 24 min

 

This feature documentary tells the stories of 5 asylum seekers who flee their native countries to escape homophobic violence. They face hurdles integrating into Canada, fear deportation and anxiously await a decision that will change their lives forever.

 

Who Cares  Who Cares

   Directed by Rosie Dransfeld

   2012 | 1 hour 19 min

 

THIS FILM DEALS WITH MATURE SUBJECT MATTER. VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.

In this cinema vérité documentary, director Rosie Dransfeld captures the gritty and dangerous world of Edmonton's sex trade workers where, in a post-Pickton era, women now voluntarily provide police with DNA samples for future postmortem identification.

 

The Invisible Nation  The Invisible Nation

   Directed by Richard Desjardins & Robert Monderie

   2007 | 1 hour 33 min

 

The Algonquin once lived in harmony with the vast territory they occupied. This balance was upset when the Europeans arrived in the 16th century. Gradually, their Aboriginal traditions were undermined and their natural resources plundered. Today, barely 9,000 Algonquin are left. They live in about 10 communities, often enduring abject poverty and human rights abuses. These Aboriginal people are suffering the threat to their very existence in silence. Richard Desjardins and Robert Monderie have decided to sound the alarm before it's too late.

 

 Hue: A Matter of ColourHue: A Matter of Colour

   Directed by Vic Sarin

   2013 | 1 hour 25 min

 

This feature documentary by renowned director and cinematographer Vic Sarin is a personal yet global investigation into the history and current state of colourism: the discrimination within one ethnicity based on differences in skin tone. Sarin travels the globe to discuss this complex cross-cultural social issue with individuals whose lives it affects, including a Filipina entrepreneur whose business has flourished within the billion-dollar skin-whitening industry. Hue leads viewers on a thoughtful and surprising journey to the heart of a painful and pervasive social issue that not only polices appearance, but also class, gender, and geography.