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How to Use Documentary Lens

The purpose of Documentary Lens is to show how National Film Board documentaries have portrayed Canada and the world since the founding of the Film Board in 1939. Teachers will find that this section has several goals:

  1. To identify themes in Canadian society
  2. To show how documentary filmmakers have commented upon those themes
  3. To use film excerpts as historical documents representing facets of Canada during specific periods

All of the films in the site are available to watch in their complete form. Merely click on the "View Entire Film" link to open it.

The Teachers section within each theme contains lesson plans related to different films within the theme. The two questions available on the right hand side of the Player will help educators focus on the important issues of an excerpt with their students.

The About the Film section for each documentary provides basic background and suggests related topics.

Behind the Camera (available through the Related sites button on the top right hand side of the page) is a companion site to Documentary Lens. It uses many of the same films as examples of film production and techniques and the historical development of documentary.

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This web site is partly funded by Canadian Culture Online