Courage is a 52 minute film in French and English.   The trailer is on the website of the National Film Board of Canada ( where a download or a 48 hour rental can be purchased inexpensively.  The NFB has not made a DVD available. When watching the trailer be sure to increase the quality to more than 360.  Try 720 or even 1080.  At 360 you’ll only hear it, not see it!


Courage by Geoff Bowie, National Film Board of Canada

This film was inspired by the 60s NFB program Challenge for Change.  The participants in Courage knew the subject of the film was surviving on minimum wage so they knew they had at least that in common prior to filming.  Then, rather than the director and crew visiting and interviewing each character separately and then editing their stories together, the participants were brought together and asked to interview each other.  They each drew a name out a hat and were given a few simple questions to help each person tell their story like, “What was your life like before things became difficult?  Then what happened?”  I thought I knew the stories quite well from my research but the participants ended up revealing much more to each other in front of the cameras than they did to me.

It was also an opinion of Challenge for Change that poverty was not simply having no money.  Poverty includes no access to the means of self-expression.  Courage offered people, who rarely get it, a chance to reflect and to express themselves.