This feature documentary is an exploration of the concept of dirt and impurity. From the slums of Kolkata to Vancouver's Downtown Eastside to a barbeque joint in Central Texas, Dirt digs deep into the webs of meaning and feeling attached to that deceptively simple 4-letter word. An odyssey into all things unclean, the film features animation to make Hieronymus Bosch blush and music from Godspeed You! Black Emperor.
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.
In this short documentary, a group of pupils aged 8 to 13 embark on a school project to find out all they can about garbage and its impact on the environment. The places they visit tell us a lot about the society we live in and about ecology, cities, art and history.
They live on our waste, on what we leave behind. Once called guenillous (beggars), they’re now known as scrappeurs—or, more nobly, recycleurs. Denis is one of them, prospecting by bicycle around his neighbourhood, sifting through garbage looking for things to sell: used furniture, crippled toys, trinkets, scrap metal and a myriad other cast-off items that, for him, are the gold he survives on. He’s surrounded by a network of colleagues, customers and friends: a woman who collects old dolls; Roger, who makes bracelets; Jean-Claude, who makes a decent living by picking up scrap metal in his truck; and two youngsters, Yannick and Sébastien. As we follow Denis in his efforts to buy a truck, we enter a parallel universe of hardworking folk who consider freedom the most important wage they earn.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In this short fiction film, Estelle, the scientist in charge of a research project on water, is getting ready for a conference with the help of her "intelligent" satellite Zenon. But a teenage hacker has found an illegal way to consult Zenon's files. Things look very bad when the hacker accidentally infects Zenon with a virulent computer virus.
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.
Ages 15 to 18
Study Guide - Guide 1
Science - Environmental Science
Social Studies - Contemporary Issues
Social Studies - Environmental Challenges
Warnings: Language (repeated use of the word “shit,” use of the word “cunt” (53:45), “fucking” (56:44. Disturbing images (photographs of dead/decaying bodies, naked Holocaust victims, dead fetus, artistic renditions of monsters defecating, fornicating). Topics covered: Sex workers, sex, defecation.
This documentary film features conversations about what it means to feel dirty and what dirt represents. A range of people from all walks of life are interviewed. Teachers will need to preview this film to ensure the students are able to handle the mature material. Students could choose one of the angles in the film to research further, such as waste management, agricultural practices, the caste system and discrimination. The class could discuss or debate these topics.