Subseries P112/G5 - CBC Current Affairs, The Fifth Estate

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Title proper

CBC Current Affairs, The Fifth Estate

General material designation

  • Multiple media

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  • Source of title proper: The title is based on the contents of the subseries.

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Subseries

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P112/G5

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area

Date(s)

  • 1963-1996 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

7.04 m of textual records and other material.
The sub-series also contains:
36 videocassettes
21 photographs
5 maps
2 audio cassettes

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(August 8, 1945-)

Custodial history

Scope and content

The subseries provides information on documentaries Brian McKenna worked on or produced while working for The Fifth Estate from 1975 to 1989.

The series contains research materials, notes, scripts, drafts of documentaries and correspondence, court records, work copies of videos and other documents. The subseries includes the following documentaries:

Apparitions. - 1985-1986. - 0.01 m of textual records.
In January 1988 McKenna travelled to Yugoslavia to investigate the claims of six peasant children that they were experiencing apparitions of the Virgin Mary every day at 6:45 pm, and the impact on their small Serbian village.

Arnold Expedition Reenactment. - 1975-1991. - 0.05 m of textual records.
Belugas. - 1983-1988. - 0.03 m of textual records. - 1 videocassette.
The Fifth Estate film called Belugas documents attempts to save the small white whales from massive pollution of their St. Lawrence River habitat.

Bismark. -1987. - 0.005 m of textual records.
Bourrassa and Lévesque. - 1976, 1978. - 0.02 m of textual records.
Car Rackets. - 1972-1975. - 0.02 m of textual records.
In his first season at The Fifth Estate, McKenna produced Car Rackets, aninvestigation into corruption and cover-up in the auto industry.

The Cardinal. - 1972-1980. - 0.04 m of textual records. - 1 videocassette. - 1 photograph.
In 1979 McKenna produced a profile of Cardinal Paul-Émile Léger as he travelled to the Thai-Cambodian border to draw attention to the terrible plight of refugees fleeing the killing fields.

CBW. - 1983-1985. - 0.02 m of textual records.
Children of the Lost. - 1981-1984. - 0.02 m of textual records.
The story of two Argentine doctors attempting to heal the trauma in children whose parents were killed or disappeared by the security forces during the so-called dirty war.

Collaborators. - 1984-1994. - 0.55 m of textual records.
With researcher and associate producer Oleh Rumak, McKenna investigated how top Slovak officials from the Nazi Collaborationist government ended up in Canada. The film, code-named Slovaks II has not been shown to the public.

A Cruel Place. -1981. - 0.025 m of textual records. - 1 videocassette.
In January 1981, McKenna volunteered to cover the Civil War in El Salvador. The resulting documentary A Cruel Place documented the state-sponsored terrorism in that country.

Death of a Godfather. - 1986. - 1 videocassette.
A glimpse behind the scenes at the forces which brought down Canadian Mafia chieftain Paolo Violi. Contains a video of Cotroni's funeral.

Death Squad. - [198?]. - 0.005 m of textual records.
Death in Tripoli. - 1986-1988. - 0.15 m of textual records. - 1 videocassette. - 19 photographs.
Death in Tripoli is the story McKenna uncovered in 1988 when travelling to Khaddafi's Libya, on the violent and mysterious death of Canadian Christopher Halens, a young Southam journalist.

Empress of Ireland. - 1986. - 0.015 m of textual records.
In 1988, McKenna filmed a documentary on the Empress of Ireland, a Titanic -size steamship which sank in the St. Lawrence River, and is now being pillaged by scavenger hunters, including one who brought up a human skeleton.

Fallen Star. - 1979. - 0.005 m of textual records.
The history of the final days of the century-old newspaper, The Montreal Star.

Gypsies. - 1982-1984. - 0.005 m of textual records.
The Hooded Men. - 1979-1982. - 0.01 m of textual records.
The file provides information used for the documentary McKenna directed and co-wrote on the investigation of torture and torturers in Northern Ireland, Greece, Argentina and, Nicaragua. In 1982, when Argentina returned to democracy McKenna travelled back to Argentina to film The Hooded Men, also known as The Return, and took newspaper publisher Jacobo Timmerman back to the jail on the outskirts of Buenos Aires where he had been held and tortured.

In The Nick of Time. - 1978. - 1 videocassette.
In 1978 McKenna directed a film called In the Nick of Time, reporting on journalist politician Nick Auf der Maur's successful attempt to restructure the Los Angeles Olympics.

Iran Drug Film. - 1988-1989. - 0.005 m of textual records.
A Journey Back. - 1985-1987. - 0.02 m of textual records. - 1 videocassette.
In 1983 McKenna investigated Nazi collaborators hiding in Canada. The film focuses on the story of New York off-Broadway producer Jack Garfein. Garfein is brought back to his home town in Slovakia for the first time and then to the Auschwitz and Birkenhau death camps to discover his past. In the film Garfein confronts the gauleiter who had killed his family.

JFK Projects. - 1963-1996. - 0.28 m of textual records. - 5 photographs. - 3 videocassettes. - 1 audio cassette.
In 1978, McKenna wrote and directed the first national television documentary challenging the conclusions of the official report into the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy in 1963. Dallas and After was followed by three more documentaries on new evidence: In 1979, Crossfire, reported the conclusion of a Congressional Committee that Kennedy was probably killed as the result of a conspiracy. The Coffin was Empty (198?) is a documentary on testimony that medical evidence was tampered with during and after the autopsy of Kennedy. McKenna produced Who Shot JFK?, a program summarizing the evidence, on the 20th anniversary of the assassination.

Lévesque in New York. - 1977. - 0.02 m of textual records.
McKenna filmed Lévesque in New York on Quebec's newly elected and first separatist premier's trip to New York to try to reassure nervous investors.

McGarr. - 1987-1988. - 0.04 m of textual records. - 16 videocassettes.
McGarr is an examination through the eyes of a Montréal street police officer of the stress that creates among police the highest rate of alcoholism, divorce and suicide of any profession.

Making of a Saint. - 1978. - 1 item of textual records. - 1 videocassette.
Marathon Man Jerome Drayton. - 1978. - 1 item of textual records.
Mirabel. - 1981. - 0.005 m of textual records.
The Money Pit. - 1986-1987. - 0.015 m of textual records.
A portrait and investigation of attempts made to find buried treasure in the mysterious and secret man-made passages of Nova Scotia's Oak Island

Murder of Hilda Murrer. -1984-1985. - 0.005 m of textual records.
A whodunnit investigation of the strange murder of this eccentric English country woman whose death may have been linked to secrets surrounding the sinking of the Argentine cruiser General Belgrano during the Falklands war.

Noah's Ark. - [ca. 1988]. - 3 videocassettes. - 1 item of textual records.
In January 1988, McKenna travelled to Turkey's Mount Ararat with astronaut James Irwin who was leading an expedition of Christian fundamentalist Americans in search of the remains of Noah's Ark. They were producing a film entitled The Search for Noah's Ark, to prove that the Bible and Creation story are literally true.

Ocean Ranger. - [198?]. - 1 videocassette.
The Old Man and C. - 1976-1988. - 0.01 m of textual records.
A profile of Nobel laureate Linus Pauling and his claims for the healing properties of Vitamin C.

Olympic Connection. - 1976. - 0.005 m of textual records. - 1 videocassette.
In his first season at The Fifth Estate (ca. 1975), McKenna started investigations of corruption during the construction for the 1976 Montréal Olympic Games, resulting in the show The Olympic Connection.

Olympic Tower. - [197?]. - 0.01 m of textual records.
Panzers on the Prairies. - 1987. - 0.03 m of textual records. - 5 maps.
Papa Plouffe. - [197?]. - 0.01 m of textual records. - 1 videocassette.
A profile of a character in Roger Lemelin's Les Plouffe series for CBC.

Peroff Mounties. - 197?. - 0.005 m of textual records.
Pipe Major. - 1986. - 0.015 m of textual records.
The Plot. - 1976-1981. - 0.025 m of textual records.
Political Corruption. - [197-]-[198-]. - 0.01 m of textual records.
The Power and the Glory. - 1972-1979. - 0.01 m of textual records. - 1 videocassette.
In 1979 McKenna produced a major inquiry into the politics surrounding the building of the James Bay Hydroelectric Project.

Referendums. - 1977-1981. - 0.045 m of textual records.
A documentary looking at referendums, including the 1948 vote that brought Newfoundland into Canadian Confederation and leading up to the 1980 referendum on Québec independence and sovereignty association and the Yvette women's movement, as well as the slick methods used in California referendums.

René Lévesque. - 1978-1980. - 0.005 m of textual records.
Richard Blass. - [198?]. - 0.005 m of textual records.
In his first season at The Fifth Estate (ca. 1975), McKenna started with a tough look at a mobster named Richard Blass.

Robert F. Kennedy. - [198?]. - 0.005 m of textual records.
The Rocket at 50. - [1976]. - 0.02 m of textual records.
In his first season at The Fifth Estate McKenna made a feature on hockey star Maurice The Rocket Richard as he turned 50.

Rosie Douglas. - [197?]. - 0.005 m of textual records.
A look at mobster Rosie Douglas.

Secret Cargo. - 1985-1996. - 0.5 m of textual records.
In 1979 McKenna co-wrote with Eric Malling and directed Secret Cargo (1980), a documentary investigation on allegations that Pakistan was attempting to smuggle and import through Canada and the United States key components for the construction of an Islamic atomic bomb.

Secret Test. - 1984-1988). - 0.1 m of textual records.
In 1984-1985, McKenna directed and co-wrote a film on the CIA-sponsored brainwashing experiments in the late '50s and early '60s on unsuspecting psychiatric patients at the Royal Victoria Hospital Allen Memorial Psychiatric Institute in Montréal.

Shooting the Messenger. - ca. 1981. - 1 videocassette.
In January 1981, while in El Salvador, McKenna produced the documentary called Shooting the Messenger, on the torture and murder of Latin American journalists and the occasional foreign correspondent.

State of Siege. - [1976?]. - 0.01 m of textual records.
This documentary is an inquiry into communist and fascist terrorism in Italy including the infamous Red Brigade.

Sunshine Soldiers. - 1980-1981. - 0.01 m of textual records.
The story of soldiers trained to make war doing a good job keeping the peace in Cyprus.

Veliotis. - 1986. - 0.01 m of textual records.
VIP. - [198-?]. - 0.005 m of textual records. - 1 videocassette.

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