Notes for a Film About Donna & Gail


Release Date: January 1, 1966

Status: Released

Running time: 49m

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National Film Board of Canada


The story of two young women who go to the city to work in a dress factory and who share a room to ease their expenses. The film shows the currents that brought them together and the aspects of their natures that first made them seem compatible but eventually drove them apart. The situation of anyone who has ever shared the life of another is reflected in their story.

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Currently Notes for a Film About Donna & Gail is available for streaming online, rent, buy or watch for free on: NFB

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Notes for a Film About Donna & Gail is a Canadian drama film, directed by Don Owen and released in 1966. The film centres on Donna (Michèle Chicoine) and Gail (Jackie Burroughs), two young women who work together at a dress factory and live together as roommates, tracing the evolution and decline of their friendship in a documentary-style format. The film makes use of the then-novel device of an unreliable narrator, ultimately revealing that the film is much more about the narrator's skewed perceptions of the women's relationship than it is about the women themselves. It was inspired in part by the contemporaneous films of Jean-Luc Godard.The characters of Donna and Gail recurred in Owen's 1967 feature film The Ernie Game. Prior to the release of The Ernie Game, in which Donna and Gail were involved in a love triangle with Alexis Kanner's Ernie, some critics who had seen only Notes perceived Donna and Gail as being in a quasi-lesbian relationship; however, Owen demurred on this perception by saying "I really don't know, because, well, what is a lesbian relationship?"The film won a Canadian Film Award in the General Information category at the 19th Canadian Film Awards in 1967.
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