Counter-Hegemonic Discourse on the Working Class in National Film Board World War II Films
For a long time, films produced by the National Film Board of Canada immediately after its establishment and up until the end World War II have been greatly neglected or simply dismissed as examples of Canadian war propaganda. These films represent an essentially counter-hegemonic outlook on the role of the working class in Canadian society. In this context, these films informed and were informed by the discourse of the Popular Front, an umbrella formation which at the time was initiated and led by supporters of the Communist Party of Canada, both inside and outside the labour movement. This paper brings to light an investigation and analysis of a wealth of archival film material from the initial years of the NFB, much of which either have been long forgotten or were, in fact, never really known. Against several earlier and unsubstantiated scholarly assumptions, this study delineates the ideological significance of the NFB's depiction of workers during this critical period in Canadian history.