This short film was an experiment in using video recordings and closed circuit television to stimulate social action in a poor Montreal neighbourhood. A citizen's committee filmed people's concerns and then played back the tapes for the community. Upon recognizing their common problems, people began to talk about joint solutions. It proved an important and effective method of promoting social change.
VTR St-Jacques is the 16mm film document of CFC/SN's pioneering experiment with community video production. Dorothy Todd Hénaut, the central NFB figure in its VTR initiative with the Comité des citoyens de St-Jacques in downtown Montreal, wrote in the fourth issue of the CFC/SN newsletter (of which she was the founding editor), "the videotape recording project in St-Jacques is an attempt to extend to its logical conclusion the conviction that people should participate in shaping their own lives, which means among other things directing and manipulating the tools of modern communication necessary to gaining and exercising that participation."Thomas Waugh, Ezra Winton, Michael Baker
From the playlist: Challenge for Change