As Remembrance Day approaches, we present a selection of video titles chosen from our collection. Please take the time to learn more about why we remember through these streaming videos from our partners, the National Film Board of Canada and CBC Curio.
Note: All videos require Red River College student/staff login.
This feature documentary profiles poet John McCrae, from his childhood in Ontario to his years in medicine at McGill University and the WWI battlefields of Belgium, where he cared for wounded soldiers. Generations of schoolchildren have recited McCrae’s iconic poem “In Flanders Fields,” but McCrae and Alexis Helmer—the young man whose death inspired the poem—have faded from memory. This film seeks to revive their stories through a vivid portrait of a great man in Canadian history.
Based on the diaries of Canadian doctor Ben Wheeler during his internment in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp during World War II, this feature-length docudrama is a glowing account of the spirit and its will to survive physical and mental suffering. The film is comprised of newsreel footage, interviews and dramatic re-enactments.
In 1944, Canadian soldiers of the First Hussars Regiment began their battle through Nazi-occupied Europe. They forged ahead into Holland to end the war in 1945. Seventy years later, we join serving soldiers & veterans as they visit the Netherlands on a pilgrimage – to understand what liberation truly means.
This 1964 documentary returns to the battlefields where over 100,000 Canadian soldiers lost their lives in the First and Second World Wars. The film also visits cemeteries where servicemen are buried. Filmed from Hong Kong to Sicily, this documentary is designed to show Canadians places they have reason to know but may not be able to visit. Produced for the Canadian Department of Veteran Affairs by the renowned documentary filmmaker Donald Brittain.
The image of the tormented veteran unable to transition from war zone to home front is well-known. But the focus on the military’s struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) obscures a simple reality: PTSD hits more civilians than soldiers, and more women than men. But when so many people experience sudden loss, near-death, violence and abuse, why are only some haunted by PTSD while others are more resilient? Promising new discoveries raise key questions about the faultlines of fear and memory, and the roles geography and early development may play in predicting personal responses to trauma.
Every Remembrance Day, we honour the sacrifices made by those who were killed or physically injured serving their country in wartime. But, what of those with the crippling but invisible wounds of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)? In this Fifth Estate documentary, Gillian Findlay introduces us to three Canadian soldiers who served in Afghanistan. Jeff, Matt and Dave all speak candidly about the flashbacks hurtling them back to the war zone, grief for dead comrades, their ongoing battles with addiction, even suicide attempts. Also featured is General Romeo Dallaire, well known for his very public battle with PTSD after witnessing genocide in Rwanda. Using the military’s own arguably conservative estimate, as many as 2,000 soldiers returning from Afghanistan could experience PTSD. The urgency to find a treatment has never been greater.
Canada’s heavy military role in World War I (60,000 dead in a population of eight million) transforms its society, its politics and its place in the world. The horror, bravery and sacrifice of trench warfare are evoked in Canada’s great battles: Ypres, the Somme, Vimy Ridge, Courcelette and Passchendaele. The domestic consequences of Canada’s war effort are also wrenching – the conscription crisis of 1917 marks a low point in English-French relations. After the war ends, labour revolts in Winnipeg and across the country raise fears of a Bolshevik insurrection. The return to stability in the mid-1920s lasts only briefly, as the crash of 1929 plunges the country into economic chaos.