Film Library

For information on our film loan policy,  please contact the administrative assistant,  (867-2283 or 2137).   

Ancient Mysteries: Secrets of the Aztec Empire (1996, 50:00 min.) (storage)
Reviews nature of Aztec society and thought including origins, religion, architecture and construction of Tenochtitlan.  Cosmology and sacrifice.  Conquest by Spanish. Illustrates many images from codices and contemporary art and sculpture (especially from Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City).


Ape Man (1994, 4 tapes)
The Human Puzzle (50:00 min): How do scientists learn about human evolution -- through tools, fossils, genetic testing (chimp DNA). Where did humans evolve? Africa and Taung skull. Origins of bipedalism. Lucy and Laetoli footprints. Oldowan tools and homo habilis. Origins of adaptation through culture.

Giant Strides (50:00 min): Do all humans share common evolution? Spread of homo erectus vs. mitochondrial Eve. What came first - bipedalism or brain? Lucy and Hadar. Consequences of bipedalism. Evolutionary forces. Acheulean hand axe and meat-eating. Homo erectus and first use of fire.

All in the Mind (50:00 min): What is unique about the human brain. Origins of language. Extinction of hominid species including Neanderthal. Modern homo (Klassies River and Cro-Magnon). Cave art and symbolism.

Science and Fiction (50:00 min): How do we conceptualize evolution? Biblical theories, Darwin. Leakey/Johanssen debate. Development of scientific theories, including changing images of Neanderthals. Piltdown forgery and missing links. Raymond Dart and killer-ape theories. Future of human evolution.  


As Long As The Rivers Flow (1991, 5 tapes)

Time Immemorial (59:04 min)
For over a century, the Nisga'a people of north-western B.C. have fought for title over their traditional lands. While this goal has yet to be achieved, the Nisga'a have gained valuable ground - their determined and persistent lobbying has propelled the issue of native land claims into the mainstream political arena. This film takes us to the disputed territory - the Nass River valley - where the Nisga'a bear witness to their current struggle and that of their ancestors. Archival material and interviews recount the clash of cultures over four generations and retrace the steps that carried the Nisga's case to the Supreme Court of Canada. The film also documents an historic event of enormous significance; the arrival, 119 years after B.C. joined Canada, of the first provincial delegation to negotiate land rights with the Nisga'a. The film is a powerful reminder that native land claims are not a recent phenomenon but rather they have finally gained the voice with which they may be heard.

Tikinagan (58:51 min)
The path toward self-government took an unexpected turn for the first Nations of north-western Ontario when, in 1987, the provincial government closed the region's privately operated Children's Aid Society. Of an estimated 400 children then in the Society's care, four of every five were native. To fill the sudden void in child welfare services and provide an alternative to the old, non-native controlled system, the First Nations formed Tikinagan Child and Family Services. Today, Tikinagan is responsible for providing 28 native communities with on-reserve counselling and planned foster care.

Flooding Job's Garden (59:20 min)
The James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement of 1975 is considered Canada's first "modern Treaty". It cleared the way for construction of the massive James Bay hydroelectric project and gave the region's Cree hunting and fishing rights, control over health, education and local government, and financial compensation for relocation and development. The deal was hailed by governments as a model for land claims and self-government. 15 years later, the Quebec government's dream of northern power has become a nightmare for the Cree of James Bay. In the film, past and present are juxtaposed as filmmaker B. Richardson revisits communities he first filmed in the 1970s, before Hydro-Quebec began its work. We learn of the sweeping, detrimental effects the project has had on the environment and how the Cree are struggling to find a balance between assimilation and the preservation of their traditional values and way of life. Now, with Hydro-Quebec preparing for Phase 2, this struggle has acquired new meaning as the Cree mount an international campaign to protect their land and ensure responsible development.

Starting Fire with Gunpowder (59:04 min)
In the early 1970s, improved satellite technology made tv available to remote Arctic communities. Its arrival marked a new and potentially dangerous era of contact for the Inuit people - the new medium brought increased exposure to a language and culture vastly different and threatening tot heir own. That threat still exists today, but it has been lessened. The Inuit have ingeniously turned tv into an instrument for preserving their language, values and traditions, and a voice with which to address their social and political concerns. This film chronicles the origins and achievements of the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation, a model for aboriginal broadcasters the world over. That the IBC has helped keep the Inuit culture and language alive is irrefutable: documentary, drama, animation and children's programs record traditional practices and techniques, recreate legends, re-enact problems that afflict the stability of Inuit family life, and create Inuit role models, all in the native Inuktitut language. That the IBC is assisting in the formation of a broader political identity is also beyond doubt - the film explores how Inuit tv has become a critical element in the creation f a modern Inuit nation in Canada's Arctic.

The Learning Path (59:02 min)
Generations of native children were taught in schools that to be native was somehow wrong. Exposed to racism, ridicule and overt disdain for native culture and traditions, they were made to feel inferior, even criminal. For today's generation of native students, these painful experiences need not be repeated. Native Canadians now have control over their own system of formal education and, to help restore what for many was lost, the classroom curricula includes studies that will ensure the continued survival of the native identity. In the film, we meet three remarkable educators. In their own unique ways, Edmonton elders Ann Anderson, Eva Cardinal and Olive Dickason are leading younger natives along the path of enlightenment. Documentary footage, dramatic re-enactments and archival film inter-weave the three women's stories, and Anderson and Cardinal recount their own harrowing experiences at residential schools; memories which have fueled their determination to preserve their native languages and identities. Along their paths we learn not just of the legacy that still plagues native education; we also learn of the strength with which it has been overcome.


At the Service of the State: Archaeology as a Political Tool (2000, 51 min) DVD

In 1940, Hitler’s archaeologists excavated sites in Poland to try to prove that Germans had lived there before the Poles—an anthropological justification for political aggression and military invasion. This program explores the use of archaeology as a tool for propaganda and diplomatic machination by focusing on the long-standing connections between Germany and Greece. The program also looks at how Mussolini, like Hitler, used Greek motifs and Roman regalia to package the image of his party and, by so doing, align the destiny of fascist Italy with ancient traditions.

The Ax Fight (1975, 30 min) DVD

A fight broke out in Mishimishimabowei-teri on the second day of Chagnon and Asch's stay in this village in 1971. The conflict developed between the villagers of Mishimishimabowei-teri and their visitors from another village. The event lasted about half an hour, ten minutes of which were filmed. The Ax Fight plunges the viewer into the problems of Yanomamo kinship, alliance, and village fission; of violence and conflict resolution. At the same time it raises questions about how anthropologists and filmmakers translate their experience into meaningful words and coherent, moving images.  


Bandit Queen (1994, 1 hr 59min) (storage)

Bitter Medicine, Part One: The Birth of Medicare  (1983, 28:15 min) DVD

Part one of a two-part documentary examining Canada's national health insurance system from its conception on the Canadian Prairies in the early part of the century to its present state of crisis.  This first part traces the events leading to July 2, 1962, the day on which Medicare was launched in Saskatchewan.  The doctors reacted to the plan by declaring a general strike.  The film recreates this stormy chapter of Canadian history through film and television archives and personal testimonials, particularly those of former Saskatchewan Premier Tommy Douglas and Chief Justice Emmett Hall.


Bitter Medicine, Part Two: Medicare in Crisis (1983, 28:01 min) DVD

Part two of a two-part documentary examining Canada's national health insurance system from its conception on the Canadian Prairies in the early part of the century to its present state of crisis.  This second part examines national Medicare twenty years after its inception and the bitter struggle among various authorities as they jockey to attain a position of power in a new scheme of things.


A Brief History of Time (1993, 84 min)
This film explores the exciting mysteries we've all wondered about in a remarkable feature film set against the backdrop of Stephen Hawking's life story. Paralyzed and confined to the narrowest of worlds by ALS (frequently called "Lou Gehrig's disease"), Hawking has nevertheless conducted research into the farthest reaches of time and the universe.

Cashing in on Culture: Indigenous Communities and Tourism (2002, 29 min) DVD

Tourism is one of the largest industries in the world, and one of the most important forms of contemporary contact between different cultures. Eco-tourism and "ethnic" tourism, designed specifically to bring affluent and adventurous tourists into remote indigenous communities, are among the fastest-growing types of tourism worldwide.This insightful documentary, filmed in the small tropical forest community of Capirona, in Ecuador, serves as an incisive case study of the many issues and potential problems surrounding eco- and ethnic tourism. Those issues are shown to be simultaneously cultural, economic, and environmental, and are complexly intertwined for both indigenous communities and tourists.

Chronicle of a Summer (1961, 85 min)

Paris. The summer of 1960. While war rages in Algeria and the Congo struggles for independence, ethnographic filmmaker Jean Rouch and sociologist Edgar Morin send two women out into the streets of the city to interview passersby. "Are you happy, sir?" From this simple starting question, the inner lives of the characters are revealed. As the film progresses, the light opening scenes give way to intimate revelations and hotly contested political arguments. Coining the term cinéma vérité to describe their approach to filmmaking, Rouch and Morin's groundbreaking cinematography and use of the urban landscape deeply affected the French New Wave and subsequent documentary filmmaking.

Collapse (60 min) (storage)
The decline and fall of civilization captures our interest. Could we be next, going the way of the Sumerians, the Romans, the Maya? The collapse of Copán, brought on by overpopulation and overexploitation of resources, is explored along with other ancient cultures that have faced the problems we confront today.

Communities and the Challenge of Conflict: Perspectives on Restorative Justice (33:50 min) DVD
Restorative justice is a creative approach to conflict that brings victims, offenders and the community together to try to arrive at a resolution that is just for all.  Restorative justice provides victims with an opportunity to receive what they need in order to heal.  It encourages offenders to take responsibility for their actions.  It provides community members the opportunity to become actively involved in the process of resolving conflict.  This video explores how restorative justice projects can build relationships in communities and increase their capacity to address conflict, including crimes of violence, in a manner that is respectful of each person's dignity.

A Cree Healer (23:30 min)

Cree Hunters of Mistassini (1974, 57:53 min) DVD
During the winter since times predating agriculture, the Cree of Mistassini have gone to the bush of the James and Ungava Bay area to hunt. Three hunting families agreed to meet an NFB crew, who filmed the building of the winter camp, the hunting, the relationship to the land, and the rhythms of Cree family life. This sensitive film expresses Cree beliefs and the ecological principles that are the foundation of their lives.  

Destination Tourism (2007, 20:08 min) DVD

Bodh Gaya, the world's most popular destination of Buddhist pilgrimage, is located in one of India's poorest states. Visitors to this UNESCO World Heritage site are typically shocked by the extreme poverty there, and the Buddhist tradition of alms-giving motivates them to donate money. As a result, Bodh Gaya has developed a sophisticated charity "industry" which caters to and depends on tourists and tourism. This thought-provoking documentary explores the complex, interconnected effects of tourism, globalization, culture, philanthropy, and religion in Bodh Gaya. Destination: Tourism provides a deeply perceptive and incisive ethnographic case study as well as a poignant illustration of the overwhelming challenges facing many of the world's poor as they struggle to eke out a living in a seasonal economy almost completely dependent on foreign tourists.


Developing Stories: Life & Debt-Brazil (47:25 min)
Directed by Octavio Bezerra. Topic: A shocking documentary exploring the tortuous links between Brazil's external debt and the killing of street children (subtitled). Dist: The International Development Research Centre

Development Challenges (1991, 26 min)
An analysis of the role of development over the past 50 years since the founding the International Development Association at the Bretton Woods conference in 1947 and the challenges that will face these organizations and developing countries in the future. Produced by International Commentary Services for PBS/World Bank.

The Dig (1989, 23:26 min)
A film that profiles an exceptional teacher, Richard Edwardson, who brings excitement to the social studies curriculum by creating an unforgettable learning experience for his students. The film follows the teacher and his students as they prepare for and complete a field study at a simulated archaeological excavation. Students apply the background knowledge and archaeological skills they have learned in the classroom to interpret their discoveries and reconstruct a scene from ancient Greek history.

Divine Carcasse (1998, 59 min)
A half fictional, half ethnographic film. It is a study in cultural contrast, between a desacralized European view of reality and an animist African one. This film shows the literal metamorphosis of one of the most prosaic artifacts of Western industry (automobile) into a revered fetish of the coastal people of Benin. In so doing, it provides a concise lesson about the uneasy encounter between European technology and African tradition which can offer insight into some of our most deep-seated ideas about economics, art, anthropology, and religion. 

El Contrato (2006, 51:00 min) DVD

El Contrato (The Contract) follows Teodoro Bello Martinez, a father of four living in Central Mexico, and several of his countrymen as they make an annual migration to southern Ontario.  For eight months of the year, the town's population absorbs 4000 migrant labourers who pick tomatoes for conditions and wages no local will accept.  Under a well-meaning government program that allows growers to monitor themselves, the opportunity to exploit workers is as ripe as the fruit they pick.  Only men with families to support and no more than an elementary school education need apply.  Grievances - among them abusive bosses, unhealthy conditions and paying for benefits they do not receive - are deflected by a long line of others "back home" who are willing to take their place.  Despite a fear of repercussions, the workers voice their desire for dignity and respect, as much as for better working conditions.


The Ethics of Research Involving Indigenous Peoples (2004) DVD

Report of the the Indigenous Peoples' Health Research Centre to the Interagency Advisory Panel on Research Ethics

Faces of Culture (20 tapes) Vols. 1,2,7,8,10,14,15,18,21,22,205,207,208,211,212,214,215,220,224,226
Vol 1. The Nature of Anthropology (29 min) (storage)
Vol 2. The Nature of Culture (29 min)
Vol 7. Psychology: The Study of Human Behavior (storage)
Vol 8. Alejandro Mamani: A Case Study (storage)
Vol 10. The Yucatec Maya: A Case Study (storage)
Vol 14. The Aymara: A Case Study (storage)
Vol 15. Economic Anthropology
Vol 18. Social Control
Vol 21. The Arts (storage)
Vol 22. New Orleans' Black Indians (storage)
Vol 205. Psychological Anthropology (storage)
Vol 207. Patterns of Subsistence: Food Foragers & Pastoralists
Vol 208. Patterns of Subsistence: The Food Producers
Vol 211. Sex and Marriage (storage)
Vol 212. Family and Household
Vol 214 & Vol 215 Kinship and Descent I & Kinship and Descent II (storage)
Vol 220. Religion and Magic
Vol 224. Culture Change
Vol 226. The Future of Humanity

First Contact (DVD)
When Columbus and Cortez ventured into the New World there was no camera to record the drama of their first encounter. But, in 1930, when the Leahy brothers penetrated the interior of New Guinea in search of gold, they carried a movie camera. Thus they captured on film their unexpected confrontation with thousands of stone age people who had no concept of human life beyond their valleys. This amazing footage forms the basis of First Contact. Yet there is more to this extraordinary film than the newly recovered footage. Fifty years later some of the participants are still alive and vividly recall their unique experience. The Papuans tell how they thought the white men were their ancestors, bleached by the sun and returned from the dead. They were amazed at the artifacts of 20th century life such as tin cans, phonographs and airplanes. As they see their younger, innocent selves on screen, they speak of the darker side of their relationship with these mysterious beings with devastating weapons.

First Nations: The Circle Unbroken (DVDs 1-4)
DVD 1 Cree Hunters, Quebec Dams (23 min)
In 1974, a Cree family winters on the land. Twenty years later, the Cree are still fighting the James Bay hydro projects.
Standing Alone (20 min)
Pete Standing Alone, at age 50, reflects on his life an the life of the Blood, members of the Blackfoot Confederacy.
The Last Mooseskin Boat (17 min)
A Shotah Dene family builds an extraordinary thirty-foot-long boat and travels downriver to Fort Norman.
KWA'NU'TE' (19 min)
Three Micmac and Maliseet artists work with wood, pencil, paper, stone, and quills.

DVD 2 Hunters and Bombers (22 min)
The Innu of Labrador fight NATO to end training flights by bombers that disrupt their hunting camps.
Magic in the Sky (20 min)
The Inuit resist the violence and materialism of southern "TV culture" by making their own programs.
Voyage of Rediscovery (25 min)
An angry young man is tried for assault. On a suggestion from his family, he is banished to an island to discover himself, a traditional Heiltsuk response to offenders.

DVD 3 Potlatch (22 min)
The Canadian government suppressed the Potlatch. The Kwag'ulh people resisted. Today the Potlatch is part of self-government.
Time Immemorial (22 min)
The Nisga'a have been resisting the seizure of their lands in the Nass Valley for 130 years. In 1972 they won a Supreme Court decision confirming their unextinguished title to the land.
Uranium (23 min)
First nations communities near uranium mines feel the impact of sixty years of radioactive pollution. Departmental also has the full length original video (48 min)

DVD 4 Education, As We See It (20 min)
The alienation experienced by many students in residential schools is compared with life in contemporary schools run by First Nations communities.
Last Days of Okak (26 min)
An influenza epidemic, brought to Labrador aboard a missionary supply ship, devastates the Inuit community of Okak in 1918.
Commandos for Christ (20 min)
The Ayoreo of Paraguay, sought out by missionaries, fall prey to poverty and death.

500 Nations (8 part video series)
The Ancestors (49 min)
Explores three stunning early cultures of North America. The Anasazi transform the arid Southwest and construct the imposing 800-room Pueblo Bonito, depicted inside and out via computer animation. At Mesa Verde, Cliff Palace provides a glimpse into a prospering society. Near present-day St. Louis is bustling Cahokia, the largest city in the U.S. before 1800 - yet few have ever heard of this fascinating realm.
Mexico (49 min)
A series of conflicts solidifies the power of the Toltecs for centuries in the Valley of Mexico. By 1300 AD, a conquering nomadic people - who would become the Aztecs - arrive in the area. Their majestic city Tenochtitlan becomes the center of an empire and the objective of Cortez, who sins his ships in the harbor so his men cannot turn back from the fight.
Clash of Cultures (49 min)
On Hispaniola, Indian overtures of friendship and commerce run aground against the outsiders' belief that wealth belongs to those strong enough to take it. Conflict erupts, and the names of Guacanagari, Enrique, and the female leader Anacauna are emblazoned across a tapestry of heroics and tragedy. Inhabitants in Florida and the Mississippi Valley also confront an intractable force: the conquistadors of Hernando De Soto. Timicua, Coosa and more nations defy a plundering advance that subjects them to two unconquerable weapons: muskets...and disease.
Invasion of the Coast (49 min)
The program opens in the Arctic, where the search for a Northwest Passage direly impacts the Inuit people. At Jamestown, the story of the Powhatan princess, Pocahontas, unfolds. Did Pocahontas really save Captain John Smith? The evidence says otherwise. At Plymouth, Wampanoagas introduce Pilgrims to a harvest celebration: Thanksgiving. But harmony ultimately turns to hostility. Enraged by colonial expansion and Puritan intolerance, Massasoit's son leads the bloodiest of all colonial Indians wars in 1675.
Cauldron of War (49 min)
Many indigenous nations side with the trade-oriented French rather than the land-claiming English in the fierce French and Indian War. When the defeated French withdraw from the Ohio Valley and leave their Indian allies vulnerable, a determined leader rises to prominence: Pontiac. A decade after Pontiac's war, the colonies assert their right to form a democracy in a revolution that, ironically, splinters the democratic Iroquois nation.
Removal (49 min)
Shawnee leader Tecumseh challenges the tide of history, sparking a return to traditional ways and seizing upon the War of 1812 as the means to restore Indian sovereignty. In 1830 the Indian Removal Act becomes law. Many tribes stoically accept its decree. Others resist. In a dramatic showdown, Tsali bargains his life for the fate of his Cherokee people - and for a Smoky Mountains homeland that exist to this day.
Roads Across the Plains (49 min)
"Horse culture" nations increasingly face subjugation or annihilation in Roads Across the Plains. Black Kettle and White Antelope, honored by President Lincoln, pursue a path of peace that meets with tragedy at Sand Creek. The treacherous massacre there by Col. Chivington's militia has repercussions across the plains, and Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse and other leaders head fierce pockets of resistance to resettlement.
Attack on Culture (49 min)
Explores the legislative attack on native ways, including the disbanding of communal land. Reservations are divided into 160-acre parcels that are offered to individual Indians; the remaining vast expanses are sold. In 1889, the Oklahoma Land rush grabs up remnant land that decades before was given to the "civilized tribes" as a perpetual home. Today, the renewal of native cultures provides a vital reminder of the glory of America's original people and the hardships they endured.

Focusing the Dialogue - Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples  

Forgotten Warriors (1996, 51 min) (storage)
Although they could not be conscripted, when WWII was declared, thousands of Canadian Aboriginal men and women enlisted and fought alongside their non-Native countrymen. While they fought for freedom for others, ironically the Aboriginal soldiers were not allowed equality in their own country. As a reward for fighting, the Canadian Soldier Veteran's Settlement Act allowed returning soldiers to buy land at a cheap price. However, many of the Aboriginal soldiers were never offered nor told about the land entitlement. Some returned home to find the government had seized parts of their own reserve land to compensate non-Native war veterans. Whole First Nations communities still mourn the loss of the thousands of acres of prime land they were forced to surrender. With narrator Gordon Tootoosis providing an historical overview, Aboriginal veterans poignantly share their unforgettable war memories and t heir healing process. We join them as they travel back to Europe to perform a sacred circle for friends left behind, but not forgotten, in foreign grave sites.

Framing the Issues - Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples

Franz Boas: 1852-1942 (58 min) DVD
German physicist Franz Boas was responsible for shaping the methods of American anthropology. He brought discipline and order to a field that had previously dealt in subjective "race classification". Archival photographs and film footage, excerpts from Boas' journals, letters and writings, and the reflections and anecdotes of scholars and students combine to create this in-depth film portrait. Interwoven with the history of Boas' life and work is the study of the Kwakiutl native Americans of the Northwest coast-the principal subjects of Boas' field work.

Generous Fog & Hope for a Better Tomorrow (1993, 17:07 min)
Topic: A description of IDRC's fog - water collection technology and its impact on a remote, and previously desolate village in Chile. Dist: The International Development Research Centre  

The Gift of Diabetes (2005, 58 min) DVD

Diabetes has reached epidemic proportions among Aboriginal peoples in Canada.  Add to this the ever-increasing costs of drugs and treatments for a disease that has no cure and, clearly a health crisis is close at hand.  Filmmaker Brion Whitford, an Ojibway living with the pain of advanced diabetes, follows his struggle to regain his health by learning about The Medicine Wheel, a holistic tool grounded in an Aboriginal understanding of the interconnectedness of all dimensions of life: the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.  Brion also explores the historical trauma of colonization and how it continues to affect Aboriginal people's psychological and physical well-being. 


Ho! Kanada (1995, 50 min) DVD

Tourism is the world's biggest industrial activity. It employs hundreds of millions of people. It's a 3.5 trillion dollar a year business — a figure second only to the Gross National Product of the U.S.A. Japanese tourism is leading the planet.  Ho! Kanada (CBC broadcast version entitled, international version is called Fast Forward) is a zany documentary that chronicles the experiences and adventures of a group of Japanese tourists, their souvenir video-maker and the filmmakers themselves. Literally joining them 'on the bus', we set out upon a lightning-quick journey. Along the way we take a funny and warm-hearted insider's look at national stereotypes, recording the way the Japanese see us, how we see them, and ourselves. 


Hominid Evolution I: The Early Stages (2001, 38 min) DVD

Begins with a survey of anatomically important concepts and landmarks in the analysis of primate skulls and teeth so that the fossils can be discussed accurately. The discussion of fossils begins with Aegyptopithecus from the Oligocene and continues through the Miocene and Pliocene using casts for a sample of the fossil forms and some slides for the newer Ardipithecus and Australopithecus anamensis. The video then discusses the anatomy of the femur and pelvis in terms of the development of bipedalism, using cast material from the Australopithecus afarensis called Lucy. Some time is devoted to a discussion of afarensis dentition and the development of modern dental characteristics. The differences between the gracile and robust forms of Australopithecines are then demonstrated. The presentation ends with a brief introduction of the habilis form as the next stage of development of modern Humans. All this material is shot in the setting of a university physical anthropology lab.


Hominid Evolution II: The Genus Homo (2001, 50 min) DVD

Picks up the account of Human evolution with Homo habilis, the earliest currently accepted member of our genus and describes the similarities and differences between this form and the Australopithecines. It then continues with discussion and demonstration of the features of the African Homo erectus and the Asian forms including the material from Java and from China. In terms of hominid development in Europe, maps and slides are used to discuss the possible new very early hominids from Spain at Orche and the material from Atapuerca. Several different theoretical positions about what to call the European material are presented and the casts of several are discussed in detail. As we move on to the Neandertals the Out of African and Multiregional theories are presented with supporting data and criticisms of each. A cast of the new Solo skull from Polowayo in Java is discussed The Near Eastern material on neandertals and early modern Homo sapiens is covered and the spread of early moderns across Europe and Asia. The video ends not with conclusions, but with questions about interpretation of fossils and the differing theories about the development of modern forms. 


The Human Race 1994, (4 part series)
The Bomb Under the World (Part 1: 51:27 min)
An ornately decorated elephant leads a parade through an Indian village. A religious holiday? No, a promotional campaign for soap. Consumer society is coming, and India's growing population is looking westward, demanding the same goods and a similar living standard. Andy why shouldn't they? But what are the broader consequences of Western-style consumerism taking hold in large developing countries?
The Tribal Mind (Part 2: 51:20 min)
South Africa isn't the only society where racial and tribal identity have profoundly marked the way people live together - it's just one very striking example. Against a backdrop f ongoing violence, a new breed of South Africans are rising above old tribal reflexes as they struggle towards real democracy. Initiatives in South Africa may well provide models to the larger world where old tribal politics of narrow self-interest continue to wreak havoc. But is the rest of the world prepared to relinquish its own tribes? Is there enough time?
The Gods of Our Fathers (Part 3: 50:52 min)
"Human Nature" is not fixed. We can, and do, reshape ourselves every time we change our culture. Nor is there anything natural or innate in male domination. In ancient Egyptian villages along the Nile, the film explores the evolution of patriarchy as one effective way of organizing mass societies. The patriarchal order was not inevitable - it was merely functional. But the world is different now, and it's time to find alternatives to hierarchies and militarization.
Escaping from History (Part 4: 52:58 min) DVD
Mexico City - the most polluted and fastest growing city on the planet - is a sobering foretaste of what may await us all. Looking at the effects of industrialization on Mexico, and the impact of its development on the rest of the world, this film finds reasons for optimism. But it's a tough equation: for the Third World to have more, the First World will have to get used to having less. 


In Search of the Hamat'sa: A Tale of Headhunting (2004, 33 min) DVD

The Hamat'sa (or "Cannibal Dance") is the most important-and highly represented-ceremony of the Kwakwaka'wakw (Kwakiutl) people of British Columbia. This film traces the history of anthropological depictions of the dance and, through the return of archival materials to a First Nations community, presents some of the ways in which diverse attitudes toward this history inform current performances of the Hamat'sa. With a secondary focus on the filmmaker's fieldwork experience, the film also attends specifically to the ethics of ethnographic representation and to the renegotiation of relationships between anthropologists and their research partners. 


The Incas (1980, 59 min)

In just 100 years, the Incas created an empire that stretched over some of the world's highest mountains. This remarkable 16th century South American civilization, in less than 100 years, had unified several cultures spread over 350,000 square miles of some of the worlds highest mountains without the benefit of written communication or the wheel.


Is the Crown at war with us? (2002, 96 min)

During the summer of 2000, federal fishery officers appeared to wage war on the Mi'gmaq fishermen of Esgenoopetitj (Burnt Church), New Brunswick.  Why would officials of the Canadian government attack citizens for exercising rights that had been affirmed by the highest court in the land?  What happened at Burnt Church?  Director, writer and producer, Alanis Obomsawin, provides a context for the events on the Miramichi Bay, delineating the roots of the conflict and offering compelling insight into the complex relationship between Canada and its First Nations.


Journey of Man: The Story of the Human Species (2003, 120 min) DVD

Journey of Man answers the question, "Where do we all come from?"  Today, some six billion people are spread across the planet.  But there was a time - not so long ago - when the human species numbered only a few thousand and their world was a single continent: Africa.  Then something happened.  A small group left their African homeland on a journey into an unknown, hostile world.  Against impossible odds, these extraordinary explorers not only survived but went on to conquer the earth.  Their story can finally be told through the science of genetics.  Dr. Spencer Wells, geneticist, is part of a team that has been re-writing history.  He has been disentangling this epic story from evidence all people carry within them - in their DNA - inherited from those ancient travelers.  Wells travels to every continent in search of the people whose DNA holds humanity's secret history: the Namibian Bushmen, the Chukchi reindeer herders of the Russian Arctic, Native Americans and Australian Aborigines.


The Justice System and Aboriginal People (1991, 45 min)
Appointed by the Government of Manitoba in 1988, the Commissioners of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry travelled over 18,000 kilometres, held hearings in 43 communities and 10 jails and listened to 800 presentations, as they examined the troubled relationship between Aboriginal people and the justice system. it was the most comprehensive review of the justice system and Aboriginal concerns ever undertaken in Canada. The results of this inquiry have important implications for all Canadians. In this video presentation of the Commissioners summarize their findings and recommendations.

A Kalahari Family: Part 5: Death by Myth (2002, 84 min) DVD

Documents the shift in policy from farming to wildlife management and cultural tourism in Namibia.  The "Bushman myth" that Ju/'hoansi are born to hunt and uniquely capable of living in harmony with nature denies Ju/'hoansi the humanity to challenge their economy and survive on their own.


Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance (1993, 119 min)

In 1990, a historic confrontation propelled Native issues in Kanehsatake and the village of Oka, Quebec into the international spotlight and into the Canadian conscience.  Behind Mohawk lines, producer and director, Alanis Obomsawin, herself an Abenaki Indian, endured 78 days filming an armed standoff between the Kanehsatake Mohawk people of First Nations, the Quebec police and the Canadian army.  The result is a portrait of the people behind the barricade, providing insight into the Mohawks' spiritual beliefs and fierce pride in their ancestry that governs their unyielding determination to protect their land.  Obomsawin's portrayal of the Mohawk community places the Oka crisis within the larger context of Mohawk land rights, disregarded by white authorities for centuries and destined to culminate in the 1990 standoff.

Kathy Reichs' Lecture (storage)
Dr. Kathy Reichs, forensic anthropologist and professor of anthropology, University of North Carolina and Laboratoire de Sciences, Quebec, and best-selling author of Déja Dead, Death du Jour, Deadly Decisions and Fatal Voyage, makes a presentation entitled "Forensic Anthropology: Science Into Fiction" on the StFX campus in September 2001.

Knowledge without Borders (1994, 16:32 min)
Topic: An introduction to Canada's International Development Research Centre highlighting some of its many development success stories. Dist: The International Development Research Centre    

Living Stones: Where Archaeology Begins

Mesoamerica: The Rise and Fall of the City-States (2001, 26 min) DVD

Filmed on location in central and southern Mexico, this program touches on the Mayan, Toltec, and Aztec cultures—and a civilization that preceded them all at a city dubbed Teotihuacán by Nahuatl-speakers centuries after its fall. Expert commentary and 3-D computer images shed light on the complex societies that emerged, grew strong, and disappeared in the highlands and lowlands of Mesoamerica.

Teotihuacán: The City of the Gods (2001, 27 min) DVD

Reputedly the first great city of the Western hemisphere, Teotihuacán, the City of the Gods, is also one of the most mysterious. Who lived there? What were its inhabitants like? And why did their culture collapse? In this program, archaeologist Ruben Cabrera Castro, leads the way down the Avenue of the Dead—and inside both the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon, normally closed to the public. The city’s political, religious, commercial, and artistic influences on subsequent societies are considered.


The Long Walk (1998, 49:03 min) DVD

Ken Ward was the first Native Canadian to go public with his HIV diagnosis.  Seven years later, he has developed AIDS and remains a passionate advocate for HIV prevention and treatment.  Ward works primarily with First Nations populations, where the epidemic is often compounded by isolation and poverty.  He also takes his message into prisons, where the infection rate among Native inmates is 17 times the nationals average.  Filmmaker Alan Bibby accompanies Ward as he travels the back roads of the Canadian West, nurturing tolerance and understanding within fearful communities, and bringing hope and guidance to people living with HIV or AIDS.


Lost Kingdoms of the Maya (1993, 60:00 min) DVD
Long before Columbus, the Maya established one of the most highly developed civilizations of their time in the jungles of Mexico and Central America. Yet this advanced society of priests, astronomers, artisans, and farmers suddenly and mysteriously collapsed more than a thousand years ago. Accompany archaeologists to Copan, Dos Pilas, and other spectacular Classic Maya ruins as they unearth artifacts and huge temples of incredible beauty. Recently deciphered hieroglyphics and other new discoveries offer astounding clues to the lives of these ancient people. You'll hear the startling story of one kingdom's downfall and its final desperate hours of violent warfare. Through spine-tingling recreations, witness ancient rituals reenacted on sites where they originally occurred. And meet the enduring Maya who still maintain many of their ancestor's traditions.


The Lost Pharoah: The Search for Akhenaten (1980, 56:35 min) DVD

This documentary tell the fascinating story of an ancient pharaoh who was almost lost to history, and the archaeological sleuthing that went into piecing together information about him.  An accidental discovery in 1975 by Canadian archaeologist, Dr. Donald Redford, and his team led to the uncovering of the foundations of one of Akhenaten's temples.  The film follows Redford in his attempt to solve the mystery of this enigmatic ruler. 

Maya Lords of the Jungle (58 min) (storage)
Maya Lords of the Jungle takes you to the jungles of Central America and the majestic remains of the Mayan civilization that thrived for thousands of years. How did the Mayas develop, and flourish? Why did the Mayan civilization suddenly decline? To understand the ancient Mayan civilization, join with archaeologists as they study the remains of their temples and tombs, searching for the clues to their mysterious decline. 

Mercy (Med-Dah) (2002, 50 min) DVD

Filmed over two years at a community hospice in Klong Toey, Thailand, the story unfolds as a thirteen-year-old girl, Luk Nam, recalls the loss of her family to AIDS. MERCY is an unsettling document of another side to the growing AIDS crisis – the future of the children whose parents are HIV-positive or have died from AIDS-related illnesses. Surrounded by orphaned children who have inherited the disease, the filmmakers witness both Luk Nam’s sister and her best friend gradually fade away. Despite the horror of their circumstances, young Luk Nam and the hospice patients and workers show incredible compassion, strength, and hope. Luk Nam’s brave composure is as admirable as it is distressing, as when she assures the viewer: “Right now, I’m alive.”

Mi'kmaw Traditional Knowledge: A Colloquium (1998) 


My Ancestors Were Rogues and Murderers (2002, 55 min)

In a thoughtful contribution to the debate on Canada's seal hunt, artist Anne Troake celebrates the unique culture of Newfoundland's outports.  She explores the notions of ecology and conservation through the story of her extended family, descendants of 18th century settlers from the English West Country.  In a society shaped by the environment and seasons, sealing became one of the many activities that sustained them.  Blending poetic ethnography with politics, Troake weaves her argument into a meditation on a resilient people and their special place in the world.


The Myth of  'The Clash of Civilization': Edward Said in Lecture (1998, 40 min + 15 Q&A)
One of the century's leading cultural analysts examines the dangerous myths guiding American foreign policy in the post-cold war era. In this important lecture delivered at the University of Massachusetts, Said takes aim at one of the central tenets of recent foreign policy thinking - that conflicts between different and clashing "civilizations" (Western, Islamic, Confucian) characterize the contemporary world. Said argues that collapsing complex, diverse and contradictory groups of people into vast, simplistic abstractions has disastrous consequences. Presenting instead a vision of the "coexistence" of difference, Said concludes with the fundamental challenge that faces humanity at the turn of the millennium.


Natives of the Narrowland (1994, 35 min) DVD

The Native Americans of New England were among the first to come into contact with European sailing vessels, and hence, among the first to disappear. The Wampanoag natives of Cape Cod (the legendary Narrowland) called themselves "the People of the First Light". Their arrival in New England reaches back to the last ice age, over 12,000 years ago. This documentary is the first to explore their unwritten history via an anthropological analysis of the culture's sparse archaeological remains. The only surviving Cape Cod Wampanoag tribe located in Mashpee provides a current Native perspective on the survival of their culture. We are introduced to the preservation efforts of archaeological sites in New England against erosion, development, and pot-hunting.

Nature of Things: Cree of Paint Hill (1986, 60 min) (storage)

Nature of Things: The Club of Rome (1986, 60 min) (storage)

Nature of Things: Monkey Business (45:30) DVD
Dr. Shirley Stru, an anthropologist who has made a very long study of olive baboon societies in East Africa, takes viewers in to the lives of a troop known as the "Pumphouse Gang". This program looks at the social behaviour of this primate, which in many ways resembles human behaviour.

N!ai, The Story f a !Kung Woman (1980, 59:00 min) DVD
This film provides a broad overview of !Kung life, both past and present, and an intimate portrait of N!ai, a !Kung woman in her mid-thirties in 1978. N!ai tells her own story, and in so doing the story of change in !Kung life during the past thirty years. Footage shot throughout the 1950s as well as footage from 1978 is used to complement the narrative.  

Nunavit: Changing the Map of Canada (24:30 min) DVD
A documentary which traces the forging of an historic constitutional partnership between the Inuit people of the Eastern Arctic and the Government of Canada. The map of Canada will be redrawn for the first time since Newfoundland entered confederation in recognition of the new territory of Nunavut. The Inuit land claims agreement which will proceed with Nunavut is a treaty between the Inuit and Canada which defines Inuit rights to lands. It is the biggest claims settlement ever negotiated by the government and an aboriginal people. The new partnership provides the framework for the environmental management and economic development of one fifth of the land mass of Canada. (Dept. also has French version).  

Oak Park Stories (2005) DVD

Oak Park Stories are reflexive ethnographic explorations of a Chicago suburb - one of the most successfully integrated places in the US.  An anthropological perspective of this "social experiment" is presented through written and video portraits of the families living there and an institutional portrait of the Oak Park Regional Housing Center, the core of the community integration maintenance policies.

The Taylor Family Portrait - An Oak Park Story

Portrays a middle-class African American family who appear to exemplify values and aspirations that make possible the success of the village's long term hope that Oak Park will continue to be a welcoming place for everyone.

Rebekah & Sophie - A Lesbian Family

Portrays people living in one of the most "gay-friendly" suburbs in the US.  The family lived through the gay civil rights battles of the 1980s and 1990s and have settled into raising a family and being part of the middle-class life of the village.  Like the Taylors, they present another aspect of Oak Park's desire to accommodate and accept difference.


Of Men and Gods (2002, 52 min) DVD

A frank look at a largely unexplored area, Of Men And Gods examines the daily existence of several Haitian men who are openly gay.

Prevalent, yet still taboo, homosexuality and gay culture are allowed to flourish within the context of Haiti's Vodou religion. As "children of the gods," the men find an explanation for homosexuality as well as divine protection. They also find an outlet for theatrical expression through exhilarating performances in which they embody the gods. Meanwhile, the AIDS epidemic looms as a continual threat and adds a disquieting degree of nihilism to their relatively optimistic attitudes toward life and happiness in Port-au-Prince. 

The Other Side of the Ledger: An Indian View of the Hudson's Bay Company (1972, 42:22 min)
The Hudson's Bay Company's 300th anniversary celebration was no occasion for joy among the people whose lives were tied to the trading stores. This film, narrated by George Manuel, president of the National Indian Brotherhood, presents the view of spokesmen for Canadian Indian and Métis groups. There is a sharp contrast between the official celebrations, with Queen Elizabeth II among the guests, and what Indians have to say about their lot in the Company's operations.   

Out of the Fiery Furnace: The Revolution of Necessity (60 min) (storage)


Out of the Past (1993, 8 part series) DVD

Part 1: New Worlds (60:00 min)

Cultural evolution is proven to be a global process.

Part 2: The Hearth (60:00 min)

Family life is reconstructed by examining household remains.

Part 3: Artisans and Trade (60:00 min)

Occupational specialization links individuals and cultures.

Part 4: Signs and Symbols (60:00 min)

Symbolic communication is examined as the hallmark of human cultures.

Part 5: Power, Prestige, and Wealth (60:00 min)

Ancient political systems are compared with today's.

Part 6: Realms (60:00 min)

Ancient kingdoms are traced through remnants of social and state relationships.

Part 7: The Spirit World (60:00 min)

Sacred places and objects help archaeologists interpret religious meanings.

Part 8: Collapse (60:00 min)

Ancient civilizations send a warning to modern society. 


The Psoriasis Research Project

Sahari's Choice: Arranged Marriages in India (1998, 27:00 min) DVD
This program examines the custom of arranged marriages in India.  It follows the story of one girl and her family as they confront the reality of an impending marriage that was arranged when the girl was barely six years old.  An overview of the custom presents it as common among all castes, although many Indians view the practice in a negative light.  Education, family wealth, and astrological compatibility are examined as important in determining with whom the marriages are arranged.  In one case, the issue of dowry leads to the suicide of a young female marriage prospect.  Severe penalties for breaking engagements are discussed, along with divorce negotiations should the marriage fail.  This is a candid glimpse into contemporary Indian society.   

Searching for Hawa's Secret (2006, 46:50 min) DVD

Frank Plummer is a Canadian scientist studying AIDS, and since 1983 the centre of his work has been a clinic for female sex workers in Nairobi, Kenya.  Plummer discovered that a small percentage of the women who came to his clinic, like 37-year-old prostitute, Hawa Chelangat, did not become infected with HIV.  He believed a vaccine for the dreaded disease might come from duplicating whatever it was that made these women immune.  This film tells of a scientific quest, and also a human story of the unlikely partnership between a Canadian doctor and a Kenyan prostitute. 

Spirit Doctors (2005, 42 min) DVD

Filmmaker Marie Burke journeys inward into the spiritual world of traditional Native medicine, the world of Mary and Ed Louie.  With a lifetime of experience in the ways of Native spirituality, Mary and Ed are steadfastly committed to the practices that keep them accountable to the spirit world, their people and Mother Earth.  Burke reveals a beautiful way of life rarely seen and explores the ongoing debate around the ethics of documenting such sacred ceremonial knowledge.

Taking Aim (1996, 41 min)
In 1985, Monic Frota, an independent Brazilian film/videomaker collaborated with the Kayapo of the Brazilian rainforest to develop Mekaro Opoi D'joi (he who creates images), the first Kayapo media project. Taking Aim is a documentary chronicling the Kayapo's appropriation of videotape technology as a political and cultural "weapon". Drawing on footage shot by the Kayapo, archival footage, stills, and computer animation, Taking Aim is a witty, provocative exploration of issues of power and representation. Ultimately, Taking Aim challenges the stereotypical portrayals of traditional societies perpetuated by conventional ethnographic film and video. 

Tanim: Instituting Democracy in Tribal Papua New Guinea (2003, 51 min) DVD

Democratic political principles have finally reached the highlands of Papua New Guinea. Tanim—"to change" or "to turn"—is the story of how the Apulin people, the ruling tribe of Enga province, are struggling to balance this alien electoral system, with all its implicit values and practices, with the secure familiarity of their traditional approaches to rule, land ownership, and systems of compensation.

The Talking Skull: Forensic Anthropology (1999, 26 min)
After a skull was discovered at a Boy Scout camp in Missouri, the State Highway Patrol took it to the crime lab - along with a lower jaw, 40 other bones, hair strands, clothing, a shopping bag, and a button imprinted with "Textwood".  Experts studied the remains and, in collaboration with other police personnel, determined that the victim was a petite Asian woman.  Using a facial reconstruction by forensic anthropologist, Dr. Michael Charney, the victim was further identified as Bun Chee Nyhuis.   Richard Nyhuis, when confronted by the police, eventually confessed that his wife died when he pushed her during an argument and she fell, striking her head.  However, medical examiner Dr. Mary Case revealed the truth: a killing blow by a hammer.

A Time for Action (34:51 min)
Royal Commission for Aboriginal Peoples  

Today the Hawk Takes One Chick (2008, 72 min) DVD

Amidst the highest prevalence of HIV in the world and the lowest life expectancy, three grandmothers in Swaziland, a small, landlocked country in southern Africa between South Africa and Mozambique, cope in this critical moment in time. Today the Hawk Takes One Chick moves delicately between the lives of the grandmothers, whose experiences highlight a rural community at the threshold of simultaneous collapse and reinvention. The gentle beauty of the rural Swaziland landscape and way of life are in stark contrast with the urgency of the grandmothers' everyday lives: families living off World Food Program rations, a missing generation of productive young adults, children surviving without parents. These crises all combine and overwhelm what should be the grandmothers' time to retire, relax and be taken care of by adult children.


Trading Women (2003, 60 min)

Narrated by Oscar-winning actress Angelina Jolie, Trading Women investigates the trade in minority girls and women from the hill tribes of Burma, Laos and China, into the Thai sex industry. Filmed on location in China, Thailand and Burma, the documentary follows the trade of women in all its complexity, entering the worlds of brothel owners, trafficked girls, voluntary sex-workers, corrupt police and anxious politicians. The film also explores the international community's response to the issue.


Trekking on Tradition (1992, 42 min) DVD

This program explores the effects of mountain tourism on a small village in rural Nepal and the often ironic nature of the resulting cross-cultural encounters. Recommended for Asian Studies, Environmental Studies, The Anthropology of Tourism, Global Economics, and Mountaineering enthusiasts. 


Walk Softly on the Earth (storage)


Who's Counting: Marilyn Waring on Sex, Lies & Global Economics (1995, 94:03 min) DVD
Waring challenges the myths of economics, its elitist stance, and our tacit compliance with political agendas that masquerade as objective economic policy. 


RJN's films at Audio Visual

The Ancient Peruvian
Controlling Behavior Through Reinforcement
The Cows of Dolo Ken Paye: Resolving Conflict Among the Kpelle
Excavations at La Venta
Fires of Spring
How do traditional hunters use burning to manage habitat. This classic film documents Dene practices of Northern Alberta.
Future Shock
Health and Lifestyles
A Man Called Bee: Studying the Yanamamo
Documents Napoleon Chagnon's research methods among the Yanamamo.
Potlatch People
Tignish Co-operatives
Tribal People of Mindanao