Documentary Stories


These films highlight how documentary film is essentially a form of storytelling; they also show how much the story changes depending on who is able to tell it. Shameless Propaganda is a critical examination of the Canadian origins of documentary film. Everything Will Be is a beautiful observational documentary that explores the dramatic changes wrought by gentrification in Vancouver’s Chinatown through the stories of the area’s residents.

Shameless Propaganda

Shameless Propaganda

72 min. | 2014 | NFB
Robert Lower

Sunday, March 22 | 1:30 pm | Theatre 4

This feature film examines its own genre, the documentary, which has often been called Canada’s national art form. Released in the year of the National Film Board’s 75th birthday, Shameless Propaganda is filmmaker Robert Lower’s take on the boldest and most compelling propaganda effort in our history (1939-1945) in which founding NFB Commissioner John Grierson saw the documentary as a “hammer to shape society”. The films produced until 1945 by the NFB are distilled here for the essence of their message to Canadians. Using only these films and still photos from that era, Lower recreates the picture of Canada they gave us and looks for the Canada we know today. What he finds is by turns enlightening, entertaining and unexpectedly disturbing.
film website

Everything Will Be


85 min. | 2014 | NFB
Julia Kwan

Sunday, March 22 | 3:30 pm | Theatre 4

This feature documentary by Sundance award-winning director Julia Kwan captures the subtle nuances of a culturally diverse neighbourhood – Vancouver’s once-thriving Chinatown – in the midst of a transformation that plays out across many ethnic enclaves in North America. The community’s oldest and newest members offer their intimate perspectives on the shifting landscape as they reflect on change, memory and legacy. Night and day, a neon sign that reads “EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALRIGHT” looms over Chinatown. Everything is going to be alright. The big question is – for whom?

Film subject and Vancouver artist Ken Lum will be in attendance to introduce the film.
film website