This documentary film by Bill Mason is about wolves and the negative myths surrounding the animal. Exceptional footage portrays the wolf's life cycle and the social organization of the pack, as well as other film of caribou, moose, deer and buffalo. Mason later made a feature documentary on wolves (Cry of the Wild, 1973) that played theatrically throughout North America and earned $5 million at the box office.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Filmed by Bill Mason in caribou country, this nature film closely observes wolves through late winter into early spring. Wolf Pack shows this creature’s character, behaviour and life cycle. What emerges is a portrait of the wolf as a disciplined hunter, respected leader and committed parent.
In this feature-length documentary, Troy James Hurtubise goes face to face with Canada's most deadly land mammal, the grizzly bear. Troy is the creator of what he hopes is a grizzly-proof suit, and he repeatedly tests his armour – and courage – in stunts that are both hair-raising and hilarious. Directed by Peter Lynch, the film has become a cult classic in the United States and is rumoured to be a favourite of director Quentin Tarantino.
This documentary explores the fate of the endangered wild Suffield horses of Alberta. Located near a military base close to Medicine Hat, these animals were originally domesticated but returned to the wild over generations. These horses face endangerment because of their growing numbers and the limitations of their environment.
Ages 13 to 16
Science - Biology
Science - Life Systems/Ecology
Write a narrative from the point of view of the wolf or from the point of view of a farmer. Discuss how humans have impacted the lives of wolves and how we may have assigned certain attributes to wolves that are unfair. If you choose the perspective of the wolf, try to capture a sense of the world which he inhabits. Read Farley Mowat's 'Never Cry Wolf'.