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

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

1991, Director: Patricia Kipping

      1 min 24 s


    


Questions 1. What effect did British Empire Steel Corporation buying all of the steel and mining operations on Cape Breton have on the islanders' lives? Are there similar examples of monopoly power today? What are similarities and differences?

2. How does this documentary technique help to tell history from the workers', rather than the owner's, perspective? How might a documentary present the opposite point of view?


About This Film

Short Description

In 1920 things were looking up for coal miners in Cape Breton: they were unionized and paid decent wages. Then the British Empire Steel Corporation bought every steel and coal company in Nova Scotia.


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