This documentary shows efforts by Canadian wildlife specialists to preserve and nurture the creatures that remain in our wilderness areas, species such as the whooping crane, prairie falcons, bighorn sheep, bison, polar bears and grizzlies.
By the late 1800s the free-ranging buffalo of the western plains of North America were almost extinct. This documentary is the story of the buffalo's revival. Live action, eye-witness accounts and archival photos document our fascination with this ancient and legendary animal. By the director of Atonement.
This feature-length documentary from Bill Mason imparts his affection for the big northern timber wolves and the pure-white Arctic wolves. Filmed over three years in the Northwest Territories, British Columbia, the High Arctic and his home near the Gatineau Hills in Quebec, Mason sets out to dispel the myth of the bloodthirsty wolf. Going beyond the wolf's natural habitat, Mason relocated three young wolves to his own property and was able to film tribal customs, mating and birth. As a result, Cry of the Wild offers viewers access to moments in wildlife never before seen on film.
In this feature-length documentary, husband and wife team Karsten Heuer (wildlife biologist) and Leanne Allison (environmentalist) follow a herd of 120,000 caribou on foot across 1500 km of Arctic tundra. In following the herd's migration, the couple hopes to raise awareness of the threats to the caribou's survival. Along the way they brave Arctic weather, icy rivers, hordes of mosquitoes and a very hungry grizzly bear. Dramatic footage and video diaries combine to provide an intimate perspective of an epic expedition.
The swift fox is one of the many lost species that has suffered from the cultivation of the prairie grasslands. An innovative program has been implemented to reintroduce the swift fox into its original habitat in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Documenting the history and human misuse of this fragile ecosystem, this short film illustrates the precious balance between human and wildlife use of the environment.
This personal documentary is the story of Teresa Marshall, who grew up on a British Columbia ranch. Every child needs a demon, and Teresa took battle against rattlesnakes. In the dry interior of B.C., the south Okanagan and Similkameen valleys form the bio-region known as Canada's "pocket desert." As settlers' dreams of creating an agricultural Eden erase fragile desert lands that support a breathtaking array of wild species, the narrator and her snake-hunting neighbours are forced to examine their environmental attitudes.
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.
In this short documentary from conservationist Bill Mason, he illustrates that although the Great Lakes have had their ups and downs, nothing has been harder to take than what humans have done to them lately. In the film, a lone canoeist lives through the changes of geological history, through Ice Age and flood, only to find himself in the end trapped in a sea of scum.
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.
This short documentary presents the environmental challenges in Nunavut. Beneath the immaculate layer of snow, there are mountains of trash. Iqaluit's 2 dumps are filled beyond capacity and the municipality has no plan to solve the problem. Throughout the film, we discover the problems faced by this isolated region and learn just how serious they are. But above all, we hear a call to action from the residents, who don't want to see the North they love disappear. In French with English subtitles.
This documentary was made as part of the Tremplin program, with the collaboration of Radio-Canada.
This documentary records the journey undertaken by Jacques Cousteau, his 24-member team, and an NFB film crew to explore the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, one of the world's richest fishing areas. They discover shipwrecks, film icebergs and observe beluga whales, humpback whales and harp seals. The film also includes a fascinating sequence showing Calypso divers freeing a calf whale entrapped in a fishing net.
For more background information about this film, please visit the NFB.ca blog.
Ages 9 to 17
Geography - Environmental Issues
Geography - Territory: Protected
Science - Biology
Science - Environmental Science
Science - Life Systems/Ecology
Social Studies - Contemporary Issues
Discuss how students can raise environmental awareness. Have students choose one of the endangered species seen in the film and prepare a presentation pleading for its survival. Have students use artwork and music to complement their presentations.