This short documentary includes three vignettes about life off the coast of Newfoundland. In Island of Birds, we visit Green Island, a sea bird sanctuary where puffins frolic. In Caplin Harvest, little silvery fish called caplin spawn by washing ashore along the waves, making an easy catch for fishermen. In Outports on the Move, off-shore houses are pried loose from their foundation and floated to the Newfoundland mainland, where schools, hospitals, stores and services are available to the community.
Did Cartier dream of making a country from this land of a million birds? In his records of his exploration he certainly marvelled at seeing the great auks that have since disappeared from Isle aux Ouaiseaulx, the razor-bills and gannets that are gone from Blanc-Sablon, and the kittiwakes from Anticosti, all the winged creatures of all the islands which he described as being "as full of birds as a meadow is of grass". And that's not even counting the countless snow geese.
This is a documentary about the fragile and complex marine ecosystem in the Bay of Fundy. The film traces relationships within the food chain - from tiny plankton to birds and seals and finally to whales and humans. The film is a plea for careful management of our ocean resource and was first telecast as part of CBC's Nature of Things series.
This short documentary illustrates the work of the Department of Fisheries in combatting the problems caused by a rockslide in British Columbia’s Babine River during the annual salmon run.
Set in the coldest waters surrounding Newfoundland’s rugged Fogo Island, this short film follows a group of “people of the fish”—traditional fishers who catch cod live by hand, one at a time, by hook and line. Filmmaker Justin Simms takes viewers deep inside the world of these brave fishermen. Travel with them from the early morning hours, spend time on the ocean, and witness the intricacies of a 500-year-old tradition that’s making a comeback.
In this documentary short, summer trippers line up for the famous local fried clams and whole families dig for the white mollusc in the tangy air of the sandbars. But as the clams dwindle, so do these tableaux from Maritime culture. For commercial fishermen it's the end of a livelihood; for others, it's the death of a tradition. Can this really be the end of a resource that used to be as plentiful as the air we breathe? In French with English subtitles.
This documentary was made as part of the Tremplin program, with the collaboration of Radio-Canada.
Montreal’s Biodome, one of the most popular attractions in the city, features a microcosm of the Earth’s major ecosystems, from tropical rainforest to the Arctic. This feature-length doc shows the enthusiasm brought to the last stages of this undertaking and the magnitude of the challenge met by a young team of scientists who planned this unusual nature museum, home to thousands of animals and plants.
In this spectacular feature-length documentary, oceanographer Jacques Cousteau and an NFB crew sail up the St. Lawrence River to the Great Lakes on board the specially equipped vessel, the Calypso. They explore the countryside from their helicopter and plumb the depths of the waters in their diving saucer. They encounter shipwrecks, the Manicouagan power dam, Niagara Falls, the locks of the St. Lawrence Seaway and an underwater chase with caribou.
This animated short chronicles the life cycle of the critically endangered sea turtle. Capturing the beauty of the ecosystems that sea turtles inhabit, the film is ideal for all audiences, and for teaching young and old alike about these fascinating creatures.
This short documentary follows east and west coast salmon from river to sea and back again. Vivid close-ups capture exciting moments of the salmon hatching, jumping rapids and performing their intricate spawning ritual. The film also takes a look at threats posed by high-seas salmon fishing and the Canadian government's attempts to protect the salmon runs.
This short documentary looks at the deep gorge of the Fraser River, shadowed by the mountain ranges of British Columbia. It is a highway for the mysterious migration of the Pacific salmon. The river shallows appear red with the flailing fish as they push up-river to spawn and die. A natural wonder puzzling to the scientist, the fish migration of spring and summer provides renewed activity for fishermen and cannery workers.
This adventure film features Scott McVay, an authority on whales, and filmmaker Bill Mason. The objective was to film the bowhead, a magnificent inhabitant of the cold Arctic seas brought to the edge of extinction by overfishing. With helicopter and Inuit guide, aqualungs and underwater cameras, the expedition searches out and meets the bowhead and beluga.
Please note that this is an archival film that makes use of the word “Eskimo,” an outdated and offensive term. While the origin of the word is a matter of some contention, it is no longer used in Canada. The term was formally rejected by the Inuit Circumpolar Council in 1980 and has subsequently not been in use at the NFB for decades. This film is therefore a time-capsule of a bygone era, presented in its original version. The NFB apologizes for the offence caused.
Ages 12 to 17
Geography - Territory: Regional
Science - Biology
Social Studies - Communities in Canada/World
In a class discussion, compare the culture and lifestyle of Newfoundland as depicted in the film with what your students know of present-day Newfoundland. Discuss the narrator’s comment in the film, “… plenty of fish for everyone.” Is that statement accurate today? Detail the advantages and disadvantages of relocation of whole communities. Refer to the relocation of Africville in Nova Scotia in the 1960s and the negative impact it had on its residents.