Across Cultures

Introduction


A Word for Teachers:

The National Film Board of Canada’s Web site Across Cultures asks:

How can Canadians participate with integrity and openness in an increasingly diverse society?

This is the question posed at the heart of the website. Teachers and students are invited to respond using Across Cultures’ multimedia and text resources.

The materials are relevant to Grades 9-12 and beyond.  In addition, these resources can be helpful to people learning about Canada, especially newcomers negotiating a balance between participating in a new society and maintaining their identity with a specific cultural group.

Teachers can use the following resources on the NFB Across Cultures site:

Films

  • 120 uncut films from the NFB catalogue relating to immigrants’ experiences. Most are documentaries (60 in English; 60 in French--on French website).
  • All films are on-line, free of charge. 
  • They vary in length from 3 to 83 minutes, with many films under 30 minutes.

Excerpts from the Films: thematically organized, complex and nuanced, the excerpts are useful as classroom catalysts for discussion and research.

  • Each theme is phrased as a question.
  • A lesson plan is available for each theme.
  • There are original articles and interviews by specialists who respond thoughtfully to the core theme questions (See Note 1 below).
  • Excerpts are suitably short for the classroom.
    Each excerpt is accompanied by a focused study question to stimulate discussion.
  • 80 excerpts in English; 84 in French—on French Web site.

Lesson Plans and Unit Guides: prepared by specialists for secondary school teachers and students, they include:

  • A general lesson plan for the site
  • A unit guide for each of the six core themes
  • Several film-specific lesson plans

Archival Materials: Stockshots, photographs and sound items from the National Film Board Archives and Library and Archives Canada are grouped by the Across Cultures’ core themes.

Glossary:  Terms useful in discussions of diversity are explained and appropriate usages are updated.

Suggestions: When users click on the linking terms provided (e.g. “Women,” “Ukrainian Canadians,” “Festivals,” “Internment camps,” etc.), this results in unique opportunities for comparison of information within multimedia information sources. 

Search (text-based): When users input their own terms in the search box at the top of each page, the search engine looks for word matches in the description of excerpts, photos and in the NFB catalogue descriptions of the full-length films provided. Specialist texts and interviews will also be searched.

Extra features (Web site sections)

Cinema and Representation

  • Original articles by NFB specialists discussing the historical stages in the development of representation in the documentary (See Note 2 below);
  • Excerpts illustrating the development of the documentary film.
  • Interviews with filmmakers.
  • Unit guide on film technique as it applies to ethnocultural groups.        

Points of View

  • Original articles by specialists from across Canada on racism, identity and social integration (See Note 3 below).
  • Relevant excerpts from the films are selected and discussed.

Vox populi (Voice of the people)

  • People across Canada respond to the Across Cultures theme    questions—with answers that are sometimes unexpected but always relevant.

See Everything, Hear Everything

  • A catalogue of the films, excerpts and sound items available on the site. 

Bibliographical and Online Resources

  • A selective list of readings and Web sites for research.
  • For teachers: additional Web sites for the classroom.
  • A reference link to the NFB film catalogue providing descriptions of related NFB films that can be borrowed from libraries or purchased.

How to cite content in Across Cultures Web site

Please refer students to this page for preparation of a bibliography and references in written work. Citation should be completed with the student’s date of access, example:

Icart, Jean-Claude. “Racism in Canada.” Across Cultures. Montreal: National Film Board of Canada, 2007. <http://www.nfb.ca/acrosscultures/>, accessed 12 Oct. 2010.
  
[A useful discussion of additional citation styles may be found at the following site:
<http://www.liu.edu/cwis/CWP/library/workshop/citation.htm>]
  
 
(Note 1) Core theme articles:

Icart, Jean-Claude. “Racism in Canada.” Across Cultures. Montreal: National Film Board of Canada, 2007. <http://www.nfb.ca/acrosscultures/>

Kukushkin, Vadim. “Strangers within our Gates”: The Legacy of Intolerance.” Across Cultures.  Montreal: National Film Board of Canada, 2007. <http://www.nfb.ca/acrosscultures/>

Li, Peter S. “How Do Immigrants Enrich Canada and Canadian Experience?”  Across Cultures.  Montreal: National Film Board of Canada, 2007. <http://www.nfb.ca/acrosscultures/>

Nayar, Kamala Elizabeth. “Ethnic Identity Formation.” Across Cultures.  Montreal: National Film Board of Canada, 2007. <http://www.nfb.ca/acrosscultures/>

(Note 2) Cinema and Representation article:

Ohayon, Albert and Marc St-Pierre. “Cinema and Representation.” Across Cultures.  Montreal: National Film Board of Canada, 2007. <http://www.nfb.ca/acrosscultures/>

(Note 3) “Point of View” articles:

Hamilton, Sylvia.  “I am somebody”:  Black youth and the search for identity.”  Across Cultures. Montreal: National Film Board of Canada, 2007.  <http://www.nfb.ca/acrosscultures/

Hill, Lawrence. “Social Alienation United Blacks from Three Distinct Backgrounds.” Across Cultures.  Montreal: National Film Board of Canada, 2007. <http://www.nfb.ca/acrosscultures/>

Jedwab, Jack. “The Diverse Family of Canadians: Documenting the Immigrant Experience in Canada.” Across Cultures. Montreal: National Film Board of Canada, 2007. <http://www.nfb.ca/acrosscultures/>

Kymlicka, Will. “The Traditions of Immigration in Canada.” Across Cultures.  Montreal: National Film Board of Canada, 2007. <http://www.nfb.ca/acrosscultures/>

Miki, Roy. “Asian Canadians on View.” Across Cultures.  Montreal: National Film Board of Canada, 2007. <http://www.nfb.ca/acrosscultures/>

Wilkinson, Lori. “Ethnocultural Groups of the Prairies.” Across Cultures. Montreal : National Film Board of Canada, 2007. <http://www.nfb.ca/acrosscultures/>