This full-length documentary takes us to an unspoiled corner of southern Belize, where cacao farmer and father Eladio Pop manually works his plantation in the tradition of his Mayan ancestors: as a steward of the land. The film captures a year in the life of the Pop family as they struggle to preserve their values in a world that is dramatically changing around them. A lament for cultures lost, The Chocolate Farmer challenges our deeply held assumptions of progress.
This short documentary examines the role of corn in the lives of Indigenous peoples in the Americas. Before colonization, corn was widely used as a beverage, a food staple, an oil, and a ceremonial object. It was respected and revered as a critical part of creation. This film explores the powerful bond and spiritual relationship that continues to exist between people and corn.Combining interviews, dance, and song, The Gift captures the traditional, spiritual, economic, and political importance of this sacred plant.
In this short film, Halifax gardener Carol Bowlby harvests a mouth-watering crop from her small backyard plot. In considering soil quality, lack of space and a short growing season challenges rather than obstacles, she offers a wealth of practical growing tips for urban gardeners. By heeding Bowlby's advice, bountiful organic gardens work equally well on apartment balconies, in small or large city lots or in a rural setting.
This short documentary depicts the harvesting of a large crop of potatoes in the St. John Valley, New Brunswick. The film documents the motor-driven machines that lay bare the rows of tubers, the crews of potato pickers at work in the fields as well as the sorting and grading of potatoes at a large Grand Falls warehouse.
This short documentary records the rural sights and sounds of the Chateauguay Valley of Quebec. The day of the big stationary threshing machine is almost over, as the machine is pushed into obscurity by the combine harvester. But there are still parts of Canada where crops are gathered in the old-fashioned way as the men work out in the fields and the women manage the kitchen. This film offers a rare and charming glimpse into mid-20th-century rural and family life in Canada.
Ages 16 to 17
Study Guide - Guide 1
Media Education - Documentary Film
Science - Environmental Science
Social Studies - Development/Global Issues
Social Studies - Economics
Ask film students to examine: the use of individual voices, rather than an external narrator; how documentary can raise awareness about economic and political issues; appropriate degrees of bias in documentary. Have students examine the history of activism in Central America and the role of other countries. Have them explore current conditions in Belize (e.g., eco-tourism, the state of cooperatives and/or the economy), through strategies such as Thinking Hats and concept mapping.