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History

The Science of the Senses: Hearing

This is one episode in a four part series about the senses. In The Science of the Senses: Hearing we explore the way the brain hears music and the role the cochlear implant plays in restoring hearing drawing on the expertise of internationally renowned Oliver Sacks, Steven Pinker, Daniel Levitin and Blake Papsin with music performed by Evelyn Glennie, Diane Nalini, Carlinos Browne and many others. Aired on The Nature of Things - CBC.

Grenada: The Maroon Spirit

Grenada: The Maroon Spirit was filmed on the island of Grenada in the eastern Caribbean in November 2004, two months after Hurricane Ivan "mashed up" the island. The film documents the massive destruction a class 3 hurricane can bring to a small island nation. Hurricane Ivan destroyed or damaged 90% of people's homes. Rich or poor, young or old, none were spared. This is a story of hope. It documents the amazing story of the people coming together in their neighbourhoods and communities to rebuild their nation. They credit Hurricane Ivan with rekindling the historical tradition of the “Maroon Spirit”. It situates Hurricane Ivan as another event in Grenada's turbulent history. Meet a people who have endured hurricanes, earthquakes, civil war, revolution and invasions yet have managed to keep both their sense of humor and humanity.

Portrait of a Street: The Soul and Spirit of College

Eight individuals recall growing up in the Jewish, Italian and Black communities in Toronto's Little Italy, during the 30's, 40's and 50's. Featuring Johnny Lombardi, Sam (The Record Man) Sniderman, Stanley Grizzle, Rose Grieco, Fanny Brass and The Sherman Brothers. This film interweaves first-person accounts, archival footage, 8mm home movies, personal photos, and present-day footage of the College Street and Kensington Market neighbourhoods to build a portrait of a time, a place, and a generation. Broadcast on PBS.

Mr. Edison's Ear

An inventive exploration of the visceral nature of sound and how we learned to capture and reproduce it over time. Anchored by the discovery of the phonograph by the brilliant-and deaf-inventor Thomas Edison, this visual and conceptual collage of rich archival footage and animation playfully traces the birth of technological reproduction and the beginnings of our modern, audio-drenched world.

Passage

"History would be an excellent thing if only it were true," claimed Tolstoy, and veteran documentarian John Walker takes us on an epic historical adventure that involves cannibalism, a vengeful woman and an historical cover-up by British authorities that credited the wrong man with the discovery of the Northwest Passage. The film is based on the lives of Dr. John Rae, explorer for the Hudson's Bay Company, and Sir John Franklin, British Royal Navy officer and leader of an ill-fated 1840s Arctic expedition. Stunningly cinematic, the film follows a trail from London to the Orkney Islands to Nunavut, elegantly slipping between past and present, drama and documentary, observational and self-reflexive cinema, to present the forces that made Franklin a hero and banished Rae to the margins of history. A cast of characters, including respected Inuit stateman Tagak Curley and the great great grandson of Charles Dickens, join the director as he unravels a historic fraud and sets the record straight.

Cuban Song

Every image tells a story in this sensitively crafted mosaic that captures the soul of everyday life in Havana. An irresistible soundtrack drives and narrates the camera's sensitive observations of the mundane and the unexpected with lyrics of love, longing and betrayal. A woman prepares a meal in her tiny kitchen, construction workers toil as people sing on the street, Fidel Castro appears on television playing the paternal role and majestic waves crash into a pier as the song cycle builds to a crescendo that always leads back to Cuba. This timely glimpse into the lives of ordinary Cubans under Castro was the last film made by director and DP, Fernand Bélanger. Knowing his time was limited, his camera is pulled to moments representing the essential pulse of life. Sadly, Belanger died before the film was finished, so the film was completed by his co-directors and longtime collaborators, Louise Dugal and Yves Angrignon.
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