Freedom Had A Price


Freedom Had a Price tells the little-known story of those Ukrainian immigrants who, described by the Canadian government as “enemy aliens” at the outbreak of World War One, found themselves subject to discriminatory and repressive measures for the next six years. Between 1914 and 1920, about 80,000 Ukrainian immigrants were forced to register as “enemy aliens”, report regularly to the police and carry government-issued identity papers at all times. Over 5,000 of their compatriots suffered an even more sever fate, imprisoned in internment camps across the country.

Treatment was often harsh, and conditions grim. Some died in the camps, many were sick or injured and several were killed by guards while trying to escape. By means of archival footage, vintage photographs, the compelling testimony of survivors and the commentary of such prominent Canadian historians as Desmond Morton and Donald Avery, award-winning filmmaker Yurij Luhovy weaves a moving human story of Canadian history that has all but disappeared form public consciousness.

Produced, Directed, Edited by Yurij Luhovy

Narrated by Paul Almond

Freedom Had A Price

Directed by:
Yurij Luhovy

Narrated by: 
Paul Almond

Produced by: 
Yurij Luhovy
Zorianna Hrycenko
Kenneth Hirsch

Written by:
 Thom Richardson
Oksana Rozumna

Running Time
55min 05 s

“The Price of Freedom”
by Fran Ponomarenko

Freedom Had A Price
by Patricia Maruschak

For more information on Canada’s First National Internment Operation:

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Before the First World War, 170,000 Ukrainians came to Canada, seeking freedom and a better life.

Thousands soon found themselves interned as “enemy aliens” in 24 camps across Canada - the first internment camps ever set up by the Canadian government.