Politics and History

From its beginnings, the National Film Board has tackled social and economic issues. Excerpts in this theme show how documentary film can play a part in social action.

Excerpts


Front of Steel

Front of Steel 1


"I Just Didn't Want to Die": The 1914 Newfoundland Sealing Disaster

"I Just Didn't Want to Die": The 1914 Newfoundland Sealing Disaster 1


"Just One Big Mess": The Halifax Explosion, 1917

"Just One Big Mess": The Halifax Explosion, 1917 1


Land For Pioneers

Land For Pioneers 1


On Strike: The Winnipeg General Strike, 1919

On Strike: The Winnipeg General Strike, 1919 1


Rush for Gold - The Klondike Gold Rush, 1897

Rush for Gold - The Klondike Gold Rush, 1897 1


"They Didn't Starve Us Out": Industrial Cape Breton in the 1920s

"They Didn't Starve Us Out": Industrial Cape Breton in the 1920s 1


Trans-Canada Express

Trans-Canada Express 1


Voice of Action

Voice of Action 1


When Asia Speaks

When Asia Speaks 1

"I Just Didn't Want to Die": The 1914 Newfoundland Sealing Disaster

1991, Director: Joe MacDonald

      1 min 32 s


    


Questions 1. What does the excerpt reveal about the characters of the Newfoundland sealers of the time? What adjectives might apply to them?

2. How would the impact of the film be different without an eyewitness narrator?

3. Is the use of still images an effective way to illustrate the story? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the technique?


About This Film

Short Description

In March, 1914, 132 Newfoundland sealers were stranded on the ice to endure howling winds and freezing snow. When rescue arrived three days later, 78 men were dead and nine missing.


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