Topic: documentaries

A Charmed Circle: How COVID-19 is threatening Uganda's mountain gorillas

In her documentary A Charmed Circle, the CBC’s Margaret Evans takes us inside Uganda, where COVID-19 is threatening to undermine decades of work to protect the African nation’s mountain gorillas.

In documentary The Clocks, Margaret Evans takes us back inside the turmoil in Lebanon

Almost two months after an enormous explosion ripped through Lebanon's capital, the country's prime minister-designate Mustapha Adib has resigned. In her documentary The Clocks, the CBC's Margaret Evans takes us back to a country still engulfed in turmoil.

New books, new masks: What the first day back looked like at this Montreal school

The pandemic means kids and teachers returning to classrooms across Canada will face new circumstances and challenges, including mask wearing and physical distancing.

An Ontario man's fight to get out of jail before COVID-19 gets in

As COVID-19 spreads in prisons, a lot of the conversation has focused on releasing non-violent offenders. But according to Ontario's Auditor General, 71 per cent of people in Ontario jails aren’t necessarily offenders at all. They are pretrial — detained, but presumed innocent — like 21-year-old "T" who was held at the Toronto East Detention Centre.
Personal Essay

How tapping sugar maples is reconnecting me to the land — and my roots

The pandemic has upended the plans, and even traditions, of so many people in this country. On a reserve just outside Thunder Bay, freelance journalist Jolene Banning has spent the spring trying to carry on with a practice her ancestors began well over a century ago: tapping the sugar maples.
Personal essay

Under one roof: How COVID-19 turned my apartment building of strangers into a community

Montreal-born journalist Julia Scott has been in lockdown in her San Francisco Bay area apartment building for five weeks, where a group of mostly strangers have become a network of support during the COVID-19 crisis.

These Gospel for Asia donors gave every spare dollar to the global charity, but now say they were misled

The organization Gospel for Asia raises money for items such as chickens, goats, blankets and wells to help remote villages in India and surrounding countries. But some former members of the group have questioned whether all of the funds are going where they were intended to.

'I found my purpose': Haisla man working to save his own from Vancouver's opioid crisis

Haisla Outreach worker James Harry forges a unique connection with fellow Haisla members struggling with addiction get to get them off the streets and into treatment — and in some cases, even get them home to Haisla.

Tainted drugs are fuelling Thunder Bay's opioid deaths, say advocates. They want a safe supply to fight it

Thunder Bay is the tip of the iceberg in the opioid crisis across the country. Advocates say a safe supply of drugs and decriminalization are needed to curb the death toll, but the health minister warns there is no "silver bullet."

'You don't expect to bury your child': The parents left behind in Thunder Bay's opioid crisis

Three Thunder Bay, Ont., parents who lost a child to an opioid overdose tell The Current what they want the authorities to do about the city's crisis.

30 years after fall of Berlin Wall, 2 women born in its shadow wrestle with its legacy

Vera Lengsfeld and Susanne Schädlich both grew up in East Berlin. And while many are celebrating 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, they believe invisible barriers still exist there today.

Are saltwater beavers a thing? Scientists observe Canadian critters in potentially deadly habitat

Our documentary A Salty Tail explores beaver behaviour that is puzzling scientists. Canada's national animal is being discovered in saltwater zones, despite the long-held understanding that the rodents only live in freshwater. Are saltwater beavers actually a thing?

How letters from migrants shed light on the 'intolerable' conditions inside U.S. detention centres

Appalled that migrants were being funnelled into a U.S. detention centre near their home, a group of San Diego residents starting writing letters to the migrants. Then the migrants wrote back, starting a conversation about the conditions they face, and what those ordinary folk on the outside could do to help.

Stuck in a 'really bad bind,' Zeballos residents defy months-long evacuation order in wake of B.C. wildfire

A forest fire damaged the mountainside above the tiny village of Zeballos, B.C. last year, creating a risk that rocks and trees could tumble on to the homes below. After an evacuation order dragged on for months, residents began to move back, despite the threat that the scorched mountain could give way.

'Let me die with my mother': Samsung to compensate sick workers, but many will never recover

Samsung has apologized for conditions in its South Korean factories, after a decade-long campaign by workers who claimed chemical exposure had left them with life-changing health issues. The former workers, and relatives of the deceased, have vowed to fight on to secure safe working conditions.

'The kids aren't yours': Barwin sperm mix-up sheds light on 'broken' fertility industry

A couple who had a fertility treatment with disgraced Ottawa doctor Norman Barwin says Canada's fertility laws need to change to give people born through donor eggs or sperm the right to know their origins.

Decision to kill: A police sniper's bullet saved one life and ended another

On the morning of Aug. 25, 2004, an armed man took a stranger hostage in front of Toronto’s main transit hub. After an intense standoff with police that lasted about an hour, he was dead.
One Bullet

Clint Malarchuk suffered a horrific sporting injury. But PTSD put his life in peril again, decades later

Clint Malarchuk suffered one of the most horrific accidents in NHL history in 1989, when another player's skate severed his jugular vein. But decades later, undiagnosed PTSD from the incident would put his life in peril again.
One Bullet

Unsolved death of Toronto high school basketball star leaves mother still pleading for a witness 2 decades on

Nearly two decades after a promising Toronto high school basketball star was gunned down, police are still waiting for someone to come forward and identify the shooter.

'You don't build condos in the Vatican': Tensions linger as 1st tenants move in to Ottawa-Gatineau development

The newly opened O Condos building is part of the $1.5-billion Zibi development, which has divided Algonquin First Nations because of its proximity to the Chaudière Falls.

Fed up with their liberal home states, U.S. conservatives find a place they can belong in Texas

Paul and Brenda Chabot are conservatives who left California for political reasons, and are now helping like-minded families to leave liberal blue states for red ones.

Meet the black women doing justice differently in Georgia

The new city of South Fulton, Ga., is attracting attention and inspiring hope because it was briefly the first city in U.S. history where the entire criminal justice system was run by black women.

The ban on cannabis in Canada is ending — do you know how it started?

With an era coming to an end this Wednesday, the host of CBC's On Drugs podcast explains how politics and fear drove the early days of cannabis prohibition in Canada.

Behold the Peacock: a fowl with the power to divide a B.C. neighbourhood

Residents in a Surrey, B.C., neighbourhood are embroiled in a row over what to do with a flock of dozens of peacocks who have set roost in their backyards and trees.

The long, slow road to healing in Humboldt begins on the ice

A hockey season often represents a period of rebuilding and new beginnings for a team — but this year, for the Humboldt Broncos, it also, hopefully, one of healing and moving on for the entire town.

He married her in a 'campaign' to take her money: How a woman with dementia fell into a predatory marriage

There is no defined legal test to ascertain if someone is fit to enter into a marriage, which means that vulnerable adults, like those with dementia, are at risk of being exploited. Experts say greater protections are needed for those who are at their frailest.

'I know the Yazidis are going through hell': ISIS survivors in Canada plead for help for family left behind

After surviving sexual slavery under the brutal rule of ISIS, Yazidis who escaped to Canada cannot find closure because of family members who are still missing, languishing in refugee camps or still in ISIS hands. They want Canada to do more to reunite them.

Finding Adler: The music and mystery of the Jewish refugee who shaped the lives of a Chinese family

During the Second World War, a Jewish refugee escaped the Nazis and fled to Shanghai. There, he taught music to a group of orphans, but abruptly disappeared in 1947. The Chinese-Canadian son of one of those orphans, Fang Sheng, set out to solve the mystery of what happened to him.

Jail time for using a plastic bag: Is Kenya's strict ban helping or hurting its people?

Rivers and lakes are cleaner since Kenya introduced a sweeping ban of single-use plastic bags, but thousands of jobs have been lost. Caro Rolando's documentary, From The Frontlines: The War on Plastics, examines the debate about whether the ban is doing more harm than good.

The body on the boat: The plight of migrants in the Mediterranean, and the toll on those who try to save them

When the crew of the Aquarius picked up a migrant boat in the Mediterranean late last year, they found the body of a young woman on board. CBC correspondent Megan Williams set out to find out who this woman was, and how she died.

Paralyzed survivor of Quebec mosque attack is still fighting to find peace

On the anniversary of the attack on a mosque in Quebec, one of the survivors, Aymen Derbali, is still putting his life back together.

How a surrogate twin pregnancy turned into a custody battle over unrelated babies

Surrogate mother Jessica Allen gave birth to twins but never expected one of the babies was biologically hers. Now she and her husband are fighting for their child.
The Current

Fighting ISIS: Why Canadians join Kurdish forces in Syria

"It's a way to get involved in some kind of legal war."

'We could all be dying': Grassy Narrows, Ont., youth suffer mercury poisoning consequences

The mercury-contaminated waters still have deadly consequences today — even for teens who weren't born when it happened half a century ago.
The Current

'Ben has defined who I am': Teen and autistic twin head to different schools for first time

For the first time in 10 years, twin siblings Amy and Ben Goodes aren't going to the same school. Not atypical, but what raises the stakes is Ben has autism.

'We have to keep looking': Family believes missing U.S. student abducted by North Korea

A Mormon family is still searching for answers about their son who went missing in China 13 years ago.

Cue the rage over queues: Documentary explores social science of lining up

Director Josh Freed’s new documentary looks at the history and tensions around the queue, or the lineup.
The Current

'Kids are going to school because of football': How a Canadian gave Kenyan youth a future

Canadian civil servant Bob Munro had an idea that has changed everything — a soccer program run by youth in the slums of Nairobi.
The Current

'Don't rely on promises': How arrangements with known sperm donors can unravel

Three sperm donors all set out with the same intention: Donate sperm, don't get involved. But the laws are murky when it comes to donors' rights and each of the three donors is facing a different dilemma. Are they parents or purely donors?
the current

How two friends fought to be legal 'co-mommas' to a 7-year-old boy — and won

Two moms have forced Canada to re-examine the definition of family and who can be parents. Natasha and Lynda are colleagues, platonic friends, neighbours and legal parents to the same little boy. This is the story of Elaan and his two "mommas."
The Current

New life, new business: Syrian refugees bring taste of home to Canada

This is the story of a new life, in a new country with a successful new business. It starts in the kitchen where three Syrian refugees created a catering company to bring the taste of home to Canada.
The Current

Ottawa family sues fertility doctor for use of wrong sperm — his own

Somewhere in the back of his mind Dan Dixon always thought his daughter didn't look much like him. Now the Dixon family has filed a lawsuit alleging the doctor who treated them during fertility treatments used the wrong sperm — his own.
The Current

'Hillary man or Trump man?' Maybe neither: Virginians on U.S. election

Follow The Current's Anna Maria on the road to Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains as she meets voters and asks them which U.S. presidential candidate should occupy the White House.

Decades after Lebanon's civil war, thousands still missing

In 1984, 20-year-old Emad Abdullah left his Beirut home to see friends and disappeared. It was the height of Lebanon's civil war and Syria was known to be jailing Lebanese. Now many families are hoping those who disappeared might now come home.

Failed resettlement vote divides N.L.'s Little Bay Islands residents

Perry and Larry share a lot. They both have spent their lives on Little Bay Islands, Newfoundland. Both share a last name: Locke. But the neighbours do not share the same opinion on what should happen to their tiny, struggling community and now tension divides the town.
The Current

ENCORE: The Harry Potter generation can't let go of 'The Boy Who Lived'

"You're a wizard, Harry." And just like that, a new generation of readers was hooked. But who knew he would follow them into adulthood? The Current revisits the documentary that shares how the magic of Harry Potter inspired fans to discover themselves.
The Current

The Harry Potter generation can't let go of 'The Boy Who Lived'

"You're a wizard, Harry." And just like that, a new generation of readers was hooked. But who knew he would follow them into adulthood? Today we share how the magic of Harry Potter inspired fans to discover themselves.

Is 'ethical meat' helping pigs or salving consciences?

Not long ago, the biggest moral dilemma would-be meat eaters faced, was whether or not to put meat on their forks. Today, with the proliferation of options like "humanely raised," "grass fed," "free range," and on and on, there's a lot more to chew on.

How a man with a brain tumour rebooted his memory

Demetri Kofinas had a benign brain tumour that was too tricky to remove, so he left it. But then it grew, and threw him into dementia in his 20s. Today we bring you the story of one man's journey toward profound loss and the turnaround that brought everything back.

Atheist minister fights to keep her place in the United Church

Gretta Vosper is an ordained minister of the United Church of Canada. She's also an Atheist. Gretta Vosper's theological views have been offensive to many. To others, she is a beacon. But can she continue as a minister?

Toronto group comes together to sponsor Syrian refugee family

A group of 17 individuals in Toronto have banded together to raise money and sort out the logistics of refugee sponsorship for an eight-member family. Today, we bring you the story of the Ripple Refugee Group who have become inextricably linked in their efforts to reach out, and bring a family in.

Unaccompanied refugee minors in Europe are disappearing

Humanitarian workers in Italy have been doggedly working to protect unaccompanied minors as child refugees and migrants pour into the country. Some estimate thousands of migrant children are simply disappearing into Europe... many looking for work. And fears of exploitation run high.
The Current

Child refugees working Beirut streets for money, exploited by families

Beirut has received more Syrian refugees than any other in the world. Many of the child migrants working to make money on the streets of Beirut are routinely being picked up by police and taken to orphanages. There are fears families are exploiting their children, expecting to bring home money.

Inge Rapoport earns doctorate at age 102, after Nazis denied degree

There's lifelong education, and then there's the story of Ingeborg Rapoport... a woman denied of a medical degree by the Nazis but obtained it 77 years later. At the age of 102, Dr. Inge Rapoport has made history as the oldest person in Europe ever to be granted a medical degree.

Shannon Moroney examines how crime hurts families of perpetrators

When Shannon Moroney's husband was charged with a violent sexual assault and kidnapping two women, she became a pariah... blamed and shunned. Today, we bring you the stories of those thrust into a world of victimization and judgement, and look at the consequences faced by families of perpetrators.
The Current

Refugees revive Riace, a struggling Italian town

After so many people emigrated from the small town of Riace Italy, mayor Domenico Lucano saw an opportunity for the near ghost town and decided to welcome migrants in search of a better life. Join us as we travel to Italy to meet the residents of Riace.

Unlikely artists are given a voice with music in UBC project

Today we introduce you to a man who never dreamed what he wrote while living on the streets, or in jail, would be good enough to publish and share. Our documentary looks at Vancouver's Voice to Voice project.
The Current

'Your Call Is Important To Us': Designing the best 'on hold' experience

Today we are looking into the people who spend time researching what will keep you 'on hold'. People build careers or empires or fat bank accounts, offering what they think are the right 'on hold' messages. The Current's Josh Bloch delves into the tricks and trade of those who keep us on-the-line… By Design.

Police brutality far from over in Baltimore, meet Tyrone West

There were eye witnesses when Baltimore police chased down Tyrone West and beat him. Officially his death was blamed on a heart condition and the summer heat. But Tyrone West has a champion in a family that won't stop asking questions and fighting for justice.
The Current

'I want to be a woman': Rural senior asks wife for help transitioning to female

Married for nearly 40 years, they saw each other through ups and downs and now she's helping him put on his makeup, standing by him as he transitions. Today, we bring you the story of change, of a raw reality that at first triggered confusion and anger but also exposed fierce loyalty and enduring love.

Peace in the House: A not-so-religious Jew and her Orthodox siblings

Danielle Nerman grew up in a secular Jewish household, with two secular Jewish siblings. Then something happened when they became adults. Her siblings got religion, in a major way ... but Danielle didn't. In her documentary, "Peace in the House", she seeks out the true reasons behind their leaps of faiths.

A soldier's suicide and a quest for the truth

Rick and Ellen Rogers are on a mission -- to get the truth about their daughter Shawna Rogers' death. She was a lieutenant in the Canadian military. Their fight for answers could change the way the Canadian military investigates soldiers' deaths.

Gay men and honour killings: 'The Invisible Crime'

Today, we bring you the documentary story of a young man who feared for his life at the hands of his own father because of his sexuality. So-called crimes of honour make the news when daughters are targeted but this is the story of a young man bridging two cultures who says he was ... and continues to be as...

Deaf musicians shatter myths about hearing impairments and sound

Little is known or understood about deaf musicians. Today, we bring you the documentary "Deaf Jam" with an American Sign Language interpreted version online.

Bletchley Park code-buster Anne V. Hereford's secret WWII story

The Current producer Howard Goldenthal follows up on a listener's email only to uncover new details of a mother's secretive war-time work for the British in our documentary "In Search of Anne."...

'Next Goal Wins' soccer documentary follows 'world's worst' team

A decade after a devastating defeat that branded them the "the worst soccer team in the world," filmmakers Steve Jamison and Mike Brett spent months with the American Samoa team as they faced a daunting task--qualifying for last summer's World Cup....

The story of Harry Manson, the first aboriginal person to be inducted into the Soccer Hall of Fame

Harry Manson is the first aboriginal soccer player to be inducted into our National Soccer Hall of Fame; a pioneer of the sport.

To No Man's Land: The story of Saeed Jama's deportation to Somalia

The deportation of Saeed Jama to Somalia, one of the world's most dangerous countries, and one where he had never lived.

Health Canada warns surgery using a morcellator could spread undetected cancer, Amy Reed & her husband are fighting to stop the practice

Not long ago, only surgeons and their patients would have heard of a morcellator. But now lawyers have become involved in a big way, following efforts to declare the devices dangerous.Considered by many Gynecological surgeons to be a useful procedure to minimize the risks of certain surgeries, morcellation is seen by others to be a cause of risk, especially for...

Allison Woyiwada had no speech or memory after brain surgery but she had music

After complicated brain surgery, Allison Woyiwada's family was heartbroken to witness all that she'd lost. But then they realized she still had her music. The CBC's Julie Ireton brings us the moving story of one woman's remarkable comeback through the music she loved....

Missionaries in remote Nigeria save twins from sacrifice: 'They are witch, they are evil'

A story of missionaries in Nigeria and their desperate rescue effort -- to save twin children from parents who believe their babies are an evil to be destroyed.