The NFB is committed to respecting your privacy

We use cookies to ensure that our site works efficiently, as well as for advertising purposes.

If you do not wish to have your information used in this way, you can modify your browser settings before continuing your visit.

Learn more


| 1 h 9 min

This epic drama looks at the opening of the Canadian West and the drought that led to the Depression in the Thirties. It is the saga of a family who left Eastern Canada to stake their future in the Prairies. Principle roles are played by Frances Hyland and James Douglas.

For more background information about this film, please visit the blog.

  • director
    Don Haldane
  • producer
    Peter Jones
  • script
    Charles Cohen
  • commentary
    William Weintraub
  • photography
    Reginald Morris
  • sound
    Clarke Daprato
    Ron Alexander
  • editing
    John Kemeny
    Kirk Jones
  • narrator
    William Weintraub
  • music
    Eldon Rathburn
  • cast
    James Douglas
    Don Francks
    Frances Hyland
    Irena Mayeska
    Lester Nixon
    Mary Savage
    William Fruete


Enjoy the NFB experience on your favourite device. 


Ages 14 to 16

Study Guide - Guide 1

Geography - Territory: Agricultural
Geography - Territory: Regional
History - The Depression Era
Social Studies - Social History

Class brainstorms general questions not answered in film, e.g., how did drought affect price of bread in cities? What percentage of farmers stayed? Small research teams answer questions and report. Form “family” groups in class who will develop individual identities and rationale for staying or leaving their Prairie farm. Families explain their justification to other families who think differently. Invite guest(s) to class to share memories, photos of Depression era.

Purchase options
Also available
Already paid to see this film?

Embed this code on your site

Video player width

by Reset