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WWII: An Overview in Moving PicturesWWII: An Overview in Moving PicturesMany Voices, Many StoriesMany Voices, Many StoriesThe Home FrontThe Home FrontCritical PerspectivesCritical PerspectivesSee Everything, Hear Everything
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See Everything, Hear Everything
Watch films, excerpts and view archival artefacts—all chosen by
NFB experts—plus much more!
 
 
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Excerpt (4:26)
Letters from Karelia
2005, director: Kelly Saxberg
Canada's "Red Finns," who immigrated to the Soviet Union as...
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Excerpt (4:26)
Letters from Karelia
2005, director: Kelly Saxberg
A young Finnish-Canadian, Aate Pitkanen, found himself...
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Excerpt (4:28)
Open Secrets
2003, director: José Torrealba
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Excerpt (3:18)
Open Secrets
2003, director: José Torrealba
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Excerpt (5:32)
Through My Thick Glasses
2003, director: Pjotr Sapegin
The Norwegian resistance to Nazi occupation is commemorated...
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Excerpt (3:21)
The Pacifist Who Went to War
2002, director: David Neufeld
WWII veterans within Canada's Mennonite communities find...
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Excerpt (3:23)
The Pacifist Who Went to War
2002, director: David Neufeld
Over 10,000 Canadians were conscientious objectors during...
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Excerpt (2:15)
The Pacifist Who Went to War
2002, director: David Neufeld
Veterans returning to Mennonite communities after WWII often...
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The Pacifist Who Went to War
Excerpt  (2:15) 2002, director: David Neufeld
Description The film
Veterans returning to Mennonite communities after WWII often met with disapproval. Within a religious tradition dedicated to pacifism, they were faced with a hard choice- to "repent" for their wartime record or to stay away from their congregations. About 8000 Canadian Mennonites were active in Canada's armed forces. Young Mennonites reflect on non-violence in light of contemporary realities.

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In 1939, as Canada joined World War II, a social crisis pulled apart the Mennonite communities of southern Manitoba. Thousands of young Mennonite men were forced to decide: in the face of 400 years of pacifist tradition, should they now go to war?

The controversy is brought to life as brothers Ted and John Friesen reflects on their choices. Ted became a conscientious objector, while his brother went into military service. Others were similarly divided, as the heart of Mennonite culture clashed with duty to one's country. Deep and raw, the rifts endured for decades.

Fifty years later, the town of Winkler dedicates its first war memorial and John begins to share his war experiences with Ted. Shedding light on the courage and conviction of both sides, this film features illuminating interviews with Mennonite author Rudy Wiebe, conscientious objectors, war veterans and a new generation of Canadian Mennonites. More than a half-century later, are the rifts beginning to heal?