In his new feature documentary Borealis, acclaimed director Kevin McMahon (Waterlife) travels deep into the heart of the boreal forest to explore the chorus of life in Canada’s iconic wilderness. How do trees move, communicate and survive the destructive forces of fire, insects, and human encroachment? Borealis offers an immersive portrait of the lifecycles of the forest from the perspective of the plants and animals that live there.
Director Mirjam Leuze’s The Whale and the Raven illuminates the many issues that have drawn whale researchers, the Gitga’at First Nation, and the Government of British Columbia into a complex conflict. As the people in the Great Bear Rainforest struggle to protect their territory against the pressure and promise of the gas industry, caught in between are the countless beings that call this place home.
This short documentary dispels the myth that Canada has an inexhaustible supply of usable wood and forest resources. In documenting the use and misuse of forest resources in Northern Ontario, it shows the efforts of the government and industry to find better ways to find a sustainable solution. The film also serves as a reminder that this is not just a problem for Northern Ontario - a crisis in the forest industry would affect one out of every ten Canadian jobs.
This 1950 documentary examines the penalties of forest destruction: fire, flood, wasted resources and barren lands. The film describes measures to preserve Canada's prime source of national wealth. Scenes of the wilderness created by stripping land of protective trees show the need to halt careless exploitation. Contrasting the slow process of re-seeding with the swift, modern methods of felling trees, the film urges planned cutting to ensure a protected yearly crop.
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.
This feature-length documentary tells the story of two very different men brought together by New Brunswick's decision to hand the management of millions of acres of Crown land to six multinationals. One man is an Acadian woodlot owner retired after nearly 40 years in a pulp mill; the other is a painter and winemaker with homes in France and New Brunswick.
The activitists travel to Finland, home of UPM-Kymmene, one of the largest licence holders of New Brunswick Crown lands, to urge company officials to practise responsible forestry. They also go head-to-head with the provincial government to secure a new community-based forestry policy that is environmentally sustainable and produces more jobs than the highly mechanized techniques used today.
In Abitibi, hundreds of kilometres from the city, thousands of workers go North, as did Jos Montferrand and François Paradis. Working as brush cutters, these 21st-century lumberjacks discover Quebec's boreal forest. Far from their families, they spend 5 or 6 months a year in logging camps that mirror a new Quebec, those of French-Canadian descent and neo-Quebecers from Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia. All have come to earn a living in the forest. Filmmaker Stéphanie Lanthier invites us to spend an entire season inside this northern micro society. Using a direct cinema technique in the style of Pierre Perrault, she documents the lives of the brush cutters.
This documentary looks at the risks of a proposed sour gas well near Clearwater River, in Rocky Mountain House, Alberta. Farmers and landowners all share concerns. Residents opposed to the well fear a deadly hydrogen sulphide leak. Shell Canada says it must drill to meet energy needs. When mediation talks break down, both sides anxiously await a ruling from Alberta's Energy and Utilities Board.
This short documentary takes a look at the changing face of PEI's agricultural industry. Once famous for its spuds and red mud, this tiny island province now has higher than average cancer and respiratory illness rates. Is there a link to industrialized farming? Rather than dwelling on PEI’s worrisome monocropping practices, Island Green dares to ask: What if PEI went entirely organic?
The stirring words of PEI-born poet Tanya Davis are coupled with beautiful imagery and poignant stories from the island’s small but growing community of organic farmers, reminding us that we can rob the land only so much before it robs us of the nourishment we need for life. Island Green is ultimately a story of hope and healthy promise.
Ages 15 to 18
Geography - Environmental Issues
Science - Environmental Science
Science - Life Systems/Ecology
Social Studies - Environmental Challenges
A beautifully shot documentary on the importance of the boreal forest. Excellent for understanding the interactions within the ecosystem as well as the impact of humans and climate change on the forest. Create a web showing the interactions within the boreal forest ecosystem. What are the important roles of the boreal forest? What is the impact of human activity on the boreal forest? What is changing the boreal forest? What is being done to preserve the boreal forest? Research where the boreal forest is, what species are endangered in the forest, and what is being done to preserve them.