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Watch the short documentary Mabel about 89-year-old hairdressing dynamo (and viral sensation) Mabel Robinson free at NFB.ca



November 3, 2016 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

When 89-year-old hairdresser Mabel Robinson of Hubbards, Nova Scotia agreed to become the subject of a new National Film Board of Canada (NFB) short documentary by director Teresa MacInnes, she had no idea it would mean becoming an online sensation.

Now you can stream the complete 22-minute film Mabel online, free of charge, at NFB.ca―or download it for home or classroom use.

Following its world premiere at the Atlantic Film Festival, a 30-second teaser clip of the film went viral (thank you, CBC Nova Scotia!), generating millions of views and hundreds of heartfelt comments.

Watch Mabel for yourself―and don’t hesitate to share her story with whoever might need to be inspired by her great attitude and determination.

About the film

Mabel Robinson broke barriers back in the 40s when she became the first woman in Hubbards to launch her own business—a hairdressing salon where she still provides shampoo-n-sets over 70 years later, catering to a faithful but dwindling clientele. “They’re all dying on me, but I’m still going strong,” she observes with customary wry humour.

At a time when most people’s dreams revolve around retiring as early as possible, Mabel tells a different story. It shows how diligent work, however repetitive and humble, can be a path to meaningfulness, purpose and dignity in the golden years, especially if it springs, as in Mabel’s case, from one’s heart, and connects one to one’s community.

An affectionate documentary portrait from the hand of Halifax filmmaker Teresa MacInnes, Mabel weaves animation and archival imagery with intimate interview footage, exploring the power of community and friendship. The film is produced and executive produced by Annette Clarke.


Associated Links

CBC Nova Scotia

Media Relations

  • About the NFB

    Founded in 1939, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is a one-of-a-kind producer, co-producer and distributor of distinctive, engaging, relevant and innovative documentary and animated films. As a talent incubator, it is one of the world’s leading creative centres. The NFB has enabled Canadians to tell and hear each other’s stories for over eight decades, and its films are a reliable and accessible educational resource. The NFB is also recognized around the world for its expertise in preservation and conservation, and for its rich and vibrant collection of works, which form a pillar of Canada’s cultural heritage. To date, the NFB has produced more than 14,000 works, 6,500 of which can be streamed free of charge at nfb.ca. The NFB and its productions and co-productions have earned over 7,000 awards, including 11 Oscars and an Honorary Academy Award for overall excellence in cinema.