Status Quo? The Unfinished Business of Feminism in Canada


Feminism has shaped the society we live in. But just how far has it brought us, and how relevant is it today? This feature documentary zeroes in on key concerns such as violence against women, access to abortion, and universal childcare, asking how much progress we have truly made on these issues. Rich with archival material and startling contemporary stories, Status Quo? uncovers answers that are provocative and at times shocking.

2014 Status Quo? The Unfinished Business of Feminism in Canada– Karen Cho, Director (Documentary, NFB) 87min.



Women on the March

Women on the March

This feature film in two parts is an exploration of the women’s suffrage movement. Spearheaded by women like Emmeline Pankhurst, founder of the Women’s Social and Political Union, the Suffragettes realized they would have to become radical and militant if the movement was going to be effective. There followed many demonstrations, and imprisonments until the women’s vote was finally granted, in 1918 (Britain) and 1919 (Canada, except Quebec.)

1958 Women on the March–Douglas Tunstell, Director (Documentary, NFB)  58mins.


Granny Power

Granny Power by Jocelyne Clarke, Magnus Isacsson (78 minutes)

Granny Powergrannies

Granny Power spans 10 years in the original activist movement of the Raging Grannies as they fight and sing for peace, social justice and the environment. Originating in Victoria B.C. with a fight against American nuclear submarines in the Inner Harbour, the Raging Grannies’ gaggles spread across the world. The active, passionate, dedicated women challenge authorities and stereotypes with humour, courage,and songsheets. They are inspiring role models for all of us!

GRANNY POWER is a documentary about a very original activist movement – the Raging Grannies. Spanning 10 years, the film follows several passionate, activist grandmothers and their “gaggles” as they fight for peace, social justice and the environment.

From Occupy Wall Street sites in Canada and the U.S., to demontrations against nuclear arms, the Montebello G-20, arms fairs and protests at military recruitment centres, the film follows several Grannies – Muriel Duckworth, Alma Norman, Molly Klopot and Connie Graves among them – as they undertake surprising political guerrilla actions, challenging authorities and stereotypes alike.

The film spans the present and the past of the Raging Grannies movement: from its beginnings 25 years ago in Victoria, B.C., to its present as an international movement. The film is also a window on important issues that concern us all: our role as citizens as we grow older, the challenges of aging, the inevitability of death. Remaining active and finding a voice as elderly women, these grannies are deflating clichés about aging and proving that life can be lived to its fullest, in every way, to the end.

Director Magnus Isacsson first encountered the Grannies while shooting scenes for films about major political, social and environmental issues. Most of our footage was shot in classical vérité style, by one of Canada’s best documentary cinematographers, Martin Duckworth.

This is a documentary about an important, growing and radically under-represented segment of the population. As citizens become more passionate about expressing political dissatisfaction with the status quo the Raging Grannies are proving to be an inspiration and a symbol of proud civic engagement for audiences of all ages.

Play Fair

play-fairPlay Fair by Donna Gall (108 minutes)

PLAY FAIR is a compelling, unflinching and visually strong documentary that questions the assumption that women have reached full rights in sport. The film is rich in interviews with world-class Canadian athletes, coaches and activists, including Hayley Wickenheiser, Silken Laumann, Kallie Humphries and Abby Hoffman, as well as young athletes who are forging new paths. It explores the state of women’s rights at elite and community levels, on the fields and in boardrooms where sport decisions are made. Most importantly, it explores what the future holds for girls, women, sport bodies and sport policies in Canada.
Based on the Feminist History Society’s book, Playing It Forward: 50 years of women and sport in Canada.
Discussion, Lorraine Greaves, Feminist History Society

Lorraine Greaves is a leader in improving women’s health in Canada and internationally. She is based in Toronto and Vancouver.

Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity