The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is marking Remembrance Day this month by making Claude Guilmain’s documentary The Van Doos in Afghanistan available online free-of-charge for 24 hours.
The doc, shot in March 2011, focuses on ground operations in Afghanistan where members of the Canadian Forces Royal 22e Régiment are deployed, with the aim of giving those soldiers a voice.
During Veterans’ Week (November 7-11), six short vignettes from the film will be posted online as a special preview, giving the public a chance to become acquainted with a different soldier each day. During the same period, the full documentary will screen in a number of Canadian cities, as well as in France.
In addition, the interactive documentary Soldier Brother by Kaitlin Ann Jones will be launched online at //soldierbrother.nfb.ca on November 7.
Filmed by Guilmain, who was accompanied by NFB producer Jacques Turgeon, the material in The Van Doos in Afghanistan will also form part of a feature documentary film slated for release in 2014, to coincide with the Royal 22e Régiment’s 100th anniversary.
The infantry regiment is one of the Canadian Forces’ largest. Stationed primarily at CFB Valcartier near Quebec City, it is the only entirely Francophone regiment in Canada, hence its French name and the nickname for its soldiers, the Van Doos, derived from a mispronunciation of the French word for 22, “vingt-deux.”
The documentary will be available on //nfb.ca/22 from November 11.