A New Life on the Land, Jewish Farmers in Canada
Duration: 56 minutes

As told on camera by early settlers, their children and grandchildren, this is a story of Jews who came to farm Canadian soil, to savour the odour of prairie flowers and cope with blizzards, locusts....and debt. It's about escape from poverty and oppression in Eastern Europe, of first winters living in underground shelters, of clearing the land and bringing in first crops, of the woman's contribution, of schools and synagogues, of community get-togethers and singing. From the West to Quebec and Ontario, from two hot runaway oxen in 1900 to a prize-winning dairy herd today, from grain to organic vegetables, an ongoing story of Jewish farming in Canada.
The film pays homage to Baron Maurice de Hirsch and his wife Clara, who established the Jewish Colonization Association (JCA), which set up agriculture and trade schools as well as credit institutions, so that Jews throughout the world could become productive citizens of enlightened society.


Montreal Jewish Memories

Part I: Stories of the Twenties
Duration: 52 minutes

Old-time residents of Cadieux, de Bullion, "upper" and "lower" St. Dominique St. etc., share their stories of pogroms in Russia and first days in Canada - home life, childhood games, youthful idealism, school fees, first jobs, building unions. Stories of hard times and high spirits.


Part II: Stories of the Thirties
Duration: 52 minutes

Montreal Jews strike roots along a narrow strip dividing the French and English sides of town, and cope with discrimination and the Depression. Stories of soup kitchens, the growth of mutual aid societies and the building of the Jewish General Hospital - Zionist, socialist and sports clubs. Promenading along Park Avenue. Seeing Maurice Schwartz at the Monument National. Climbing Mt. Royal. The lights, the shadows... and a war in the offing.


Part III: Stories of the War Years (1939-1945)
Duration: 52 minutes

Coming out the Depression and facing War and disruption of normal life - mothers and children, soldiers and defence workers, internees and refugees, artists and writers - all share their memories of traumatic years which reshaped their lives.


Part IV: Post-War Stories (1945-1952)
Duration: 52 minutes

Stories of soldiers returning home to studies and jobs, to marriage and the move to new neighborhoods. Vacations in the Laurentian mountains. Stories of Montreal volunteers in Israel's War of Independence. And stories of Holocaust survivors' struggling to rebuild their lives in a free society and among fellow Jews.
The charm of the personal is present in this film as in the earlier ones, even in the stories of survivors happy to have found a safe haven. But there is no charm in the memories which haunt them. The optimistic spirit which shines throughout our series has been tempered here by tragedy.

-© 2014 D.O. Film.