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

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

1991, Director: Cheryl Lean

      1 min 42 s


    


Questions 1. What techniques does the excerpt use to capture the emotional reality of the historical event? Are they effective?

2. How does the narration combine two kinds of history: the personal history of events as they are experienced and the "textbook" history of events that are studied?


About This Film

Short Description

On the morning of December 6, 1917, Halifax was devastated by the biggest accidental explosion the world had ever seen. The collision of a French munitions ship killed 1600 people.


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