En Abitibi, à des centaines de kilomètres de la ville, des milliers de travailleurs montent au Nord, comme Jos Montferrand ou François Paradis. Ces bûcherons du XXIe siècle s’initient à la forêt boréale québécoise en exerçant le métier de débroussailleur.
Loin de leur famille, ils vivent cinq à six mois par an dans des camps de travail à l’image d’un Québec nouveau. S’y côtoient Québécois d’origine canadienne-française et Néo-Québécois issus d’Afrique, d’Europe de l’Est ou d’Asie, tous venus gagner leur vie dans le bois. C’est dans cette microsociété du Nord que la cinéaste Stéphanie Lanthier nous invite à pénétrer durant une saison entière.
Pratiquant le cinéma direct à la manière de Pierre Perrault, elle documente la vie des débroussailleurs, ces « exilés » de tous âges et de toutes nationalités qui partagent avec elle leur nostalgie, leur fierté ou leur fascination pour la forêt qui les entoure. Celle qui, de juin à octobre, se montrera tantôt menaçante, tantôt bénéfique pour ceux qui y habitent et tentent l’aventure.
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.
Filmed in several of Canada's national parks (including Banff and Wood Buffalo), this feature documentary looks at forest fires versus fire suppression. Sometimes forest fires are essential for plant renewal, healthy growth, soil enrichment and new environments for wildlife.
This documentary looks at developments in the Canadian forestry industry from the 1970s. Turning a Newfoundland bog into woodland, fostering British Columbia seedlings that withstand mechanical planting, inoculating Ontario elms against the bark beetle, devising ways of controlling fire... these are some of the experiments shown being carried out in laboratories and in the field to protect and conserve the country's vast forests.
Forest fire in mountainous British Columbia, as experienced by the men who must try to quench it from the air and at close quarters on the ground. Over half of fire outbreaks occur through carelessness, and this film affords a close, vivid view of the result: a whole mountainside turned into a searing, crackling holocaust until nothing remains but gray, desolate waste--mute reproach to all who travel or work in the forests.
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.
This short documentary demonstrates how to efficiently manage a woodlot in order to maximize yearly income. Joe Kelly, a farmer who sold his trees to be cut down wholesale, illustrates the danger of short-sighted planning. Given a second chance on his father's farm, Joe learns to practise selective cutting, which allows for a sustainable woodlot and a steady income. The film also offers information on which trees to cut and how to market the wood.
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.
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.
Ages 16 to 17
Civics/Citizenship - Federal/Provincial Government
Geography - Natural Resources
Discuss the motivation and determination of people who settle in a new country. You can ask students a series of questions. Where do immigrant workers get their strong work ethic? Is there a link between working hard and coming from another country? Despite their dedication to their jobs, are brush clearers always satisfied with work conditions? What do they want from the government and from forestry officials specifically?