Film Library
Jajo’s Secret, 2009.  

Original title: Jajo’s Secret

Copyright: Guerrilla Films Inc., 2009. 

Format: feature documentary

Carrier: DVD

Color: color.

Length: 48 min.

Original language: English

English subtitles: yes


Film crew

Director: James E. Motluk

Script writer: James E. Motluk

Producer: James E. Motluk

Cinematographer: Lance Carlson

Picture editor: Jack McLuskie

Original music score: Tad Winklarz

Camera operators: Mimi Delarouche, Stanley Fischer

Location sound: E. J. Tulmok

Researcher: Alison Hearn




In 1914, Canada was at war. The Public was gripped with a fear that terrorists might be lurking among the recent wave of Ukrainian immigrants. To deal with this perceived threat, the government of Sir Robert Borden introduced The War Measures Act and rounded up thousands of Ukrainians, sending them to 24 concentration camps across the country. As the war dragged on, many prisoners were paroled and forced to work without pay for some of Canada's most profitable companies. In the years that followed, the Canadian government tried to forget what happened.


This riveting documentary tells the story of how filmmaker James Motluk discovered that his Jajo (grandfather) was one of these parolees. “A few years after my Jajo passed away, we came across a mysterious document,” explains writer and director, James Motluk. “It was a certificate of parole he had been issued by the Sault Ste. Marie Police in 1918. No one seemed to know anything about it.” The story begins with this discovery and goes on to trace Motluk’s personal journey as he investigates how his grandfather came to be paroled. The movie contains a treasure trove of rare photos, government documents and period newspaper articles that help to shed light on the internment.

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Ukrainian Film Club of Columbia University© 2015. For more information please contact Yuri Shevchuk