They called it white man's burden

Canada, 1957

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Episode number 9 of Series “The Commonwealth of Nations”
Paternalism, with all its problems and achievements among colonial peoples, has a tradition within the Commonwealth which is often misunderstood. This film suggests that the stereotyped picture many people have of colonial officialdom needs revising in the light of Britain’s record. The “Great White Father,” we see, although not oblivious to the material advantages a colony could provide, brought with him, more often than not, a deep sense of responsibility for the welfare of people under his jurisdiction. Noteworthy are campaigns to improve agriculture, alleviate suffering, raise living standards and promote literacy.



Ronald Dick

production company

National Film Board of Canada






Black and White

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