In Search of a Soul:
Building the Canadian War Museum
Bravo!, 8 p.m.
You'll find more traditional Remembrance Day programming airing this week, but this documentary is the one to watch for its thoughtful perspective on war. The insights come courtesy of Raymond Moriyama, the philosophical architect who designed the new Canadian War Museum that opened to critical acclaim in May. Moriyama has created a space of contemplation rather than glorification, a reflection of his own heritage and Canada's international reputation for peacekeeping rather than warmongering. Moriyama was just 12 years old when, like all Japanese-Canadians, he was interned during the Second World War. Using as a starting point his memory of the tree fort he built as a retreat during that dark period of confinement, Moriyama explains the symbolism of the sod-roofed building hunkered down in Ottawa's LeBreton Flats, its copper-clad fin stretching out towards the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill. From deliberately compressed and skewed interior corridors to windows arranged to spell out 'Lest we forget' in Morse code on the exterior, Moriyama's design insists on introspection and reinforces his philosophy of regeneration. It's a complex and fitting tribute that houses both sorrow and hope.
CBC, 11 p.m.
Vive le difference! or freedom fries? Vice-regal consort Jean-Daniel Lafond or sovereigntist poet Raymond Lévesque? Funny you should ask. Emerging Toronto filmmaker Jay Field sends up French idiosyncrasies -- baguettes, Gauloises, existential angst et al -- in tonight's season opening short film, Desastre. The farce begins when un petit garçon is born to bewildered American parents. Kendall Negro is charming and coolly sophisticated as the beret-wearing young francophone who shocks his middlebrow U.S. family by seducing the housekeeper while he's still in short pants. Desastre is cheeky, subversive and hilarious as it both mocks and celebrates cultural differences. But Field saves his most merciless dig for last, and it's aimed squarely at Canada.
North and South
TVO, 9 p.m.
Adapted from Elizabeth Gaskell's epic novel, North and South is the story of an independent displaced young woman whose social conscience puts her in conflict with a wealthy cotton mill owner in a newly industrial England. In true romance style, the two find themselves deeply attracted to each other despite their clashes. Daniela Denby-Ashe and Richard Armitage, who star in this well-done if somewhat gloomy costume drama, were voted best actress and actor by British viewers who also proclaimed the BBC miniseries as best drama of 2004. The four-part Victorian era series continues next Tuesday. Also: Canada AM's Seamus O'Regan will host a live hour from The Giller Prize literary award ceremony at 9 p.m. (TalkTV). This year's short-listed Canadian authors include Joan Barfoot (Luck), David Bergin (The Time In Between), Camilla Gibb (Sweetness in the Belly), Lisa Moore (Alligator) and Edeet Ravel (A Wall of Light). The special repeats at 12:30 a.m. on CTV.
The Nature of Things:
Tsepong -- A Clinic Called Hope
CBC, 8 p.m.
If you've been following Stephanie Nolen's stories about AIDS in Africa in this paper and were dismayed by last month's Globe feature on Stephen Lewis, the UN's Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, who is so overwhelmed after four years of trying to stem the devastating pandemic he's ready to quit, then you must watch tonight's episode of The Nature of Things. It follows four Ontario health professionals led by AIDS specialist Dr. Philip Berger, whose response to a challenge from Lewis was to travel to the tiny African nation of Lesotho to put their expertise to use at a small clinic. Of Lesotho's 2-million people, an estimated 300,000 adults and 20,000 children have HIV/AIDS. Access to affordable antiretroviral drugs allows the team to successfully treat hundreds of the AIDS afflicted, but eventually a lack of resources forces the clinic to turn away new patients. The film presents a clear-eyed view of the situation and the complexity of making widespread treatment viable. Also: The British police drama New Tricks returns tonight for its second season (9 p.m., TVO). The grown-up storylines and playful humour are intact as Det. Supt. Pullman (Amanda Redman) and her team of salty old detectives find themselves reporting to a rather stiff young new Deputy Asst. Commissioner. He insists the squad revisit a cold case involving the mysterious death of the police officer husband of his benefactor, an investigation that reveals much more than the widow wants known.