Across Cultures

See everything, hear everything

Watch 60 films, 170 excerpts and over 80 archival artefacts selected by NFB specialists as part of this unique project.





Internet connection

Each film on this site is available for viewing at low speed or high speed.

  • Low speed: recommended if your Internet connection uses a dial-up modem (56 kbps or slower). Low-speed viewing results in lower quality image and sound.
  • High speed: recommended if you have high-speed Internet (DSL, cable modem) or are connected to an institutional network. Viewing in high-speed mode may cause occasional jerky images and sound interruptions if the speed of your connection is not fast enough.

If you're not sure which speed to use for viewing the films, try high speed first. If the results are not satisfactory, switch to low speed.



Films can be available for viewing in either Macromedia Flash or QuickTime. Image and sound quality are similar for all these formats.

  • Flash: lets you view the film directly in the Web page without launching an external application. Requires the Flash plug-in (download for free at Macromedia Flash Player).
  • QuickTime (alternative format): requires QuickTime, version 7 or more recent (download for free at QuickTime).

Closed captions (CC)

Translation of the audio portion of a film into subtitles, for example, dialogue, narration, sound effects, etc. These captions let hearing-impaired viewers read what they cannot hear. Closed captions are available for a few films. To access them, you must select QuickTime (under Format) and With closed captions (under Accessibility).


Described video (DV)

A narrated description of a film's key visual elements to enable the vision-impaired to form a mental picture of what is happening on screen. Described video is available for a few films. To access them, you must select QuickTime (under Format) and With described video (under Accessibility).

1998, director: Najwa Tlili

Film (45:45)

Find similar content
> Montreal | North Africa | Social values | Women | Social isolation | Marriage | Immigration | Religion | Deportation | Family violence | Arab people | Music | Cultural differences | Customs and traditions

  Description     The film  
They believed they were creating a household and living a new life, but they were humiliated and tormented. What Fadhila and Roula have in common is that they're women, Arab, immigrants and have been sexually assaulted by their husbands. In order to break down the walls of silence, they have bravely chosen to tell their stories. Their accounts are complemented by discussions in Montreal with women's social workers, members of the Arab community and a lawyer specializing in Canadian immigration. To the sound of the melodies beautifully sung by the diva Aïcha Redouane, the film considers the question of unfamiliar cultural values and women's rights in the current social context. In French with English subtitles.