Set in the coldest waters surrounding Newfoundland’s rugged Fogo Island, this short film follows a group of “people of the fish”—traditional fishers who catch cod live by hand, one at a time, by hook and line. Filmmaker Justin Simms takes viewers deep inside the world of these brave fishermen. Travel with them from the early morning hours, spend time on the ocean, and witness the intricacies of a 500-year-old tradition that’s making a comeback.
Sailing ships on an open sea make an attractive sight, all the more to be valued because of their rarity. This film shows one of the Portuguese schooners that fished the Grand Banks off Newfoundland. From the moment the townsfolk turn out for the blessing of the ship and crew, to the time when the ship turns homeward with the season's catch--leaving one crewman in a Newfoundland grave--this film holds the viewer's attention on an ancient calling that will soon disappear.
This feature-length documentary is the unrehearsed story of what happened when old-timers from Île-aux-Coudres, a small island in the St. Lawrence River, were persuaded to revive a local whale-catching practice. Through the magic of words and the mystery of the catch, the film uncovers a spirituality rooted in the moon and the rhythm of the tides. More than a documentary, it is a fresco of the myths and legends among the traditional fishing communities of Quebec. In French with English subtitles.
This film was made by Pierre Perrault, Michel Brault and Marcel Carrière.
For more background info on this film, visit the NFB.ca blog.
This short documentary includes three vignettes about life off the coast of Newfoundland. In Island of Birds, we visit Green Island, a sea bird sanctuary where puffins frolic. In Caplin Harvest, little silvery fish called caplin spawn by washing ashore along the waves, making an easy catch for fishermen. In Outports on the Move, off-shore houses are pried loose from their foundation and floated to the Newfoundland mainland, where schools, hospitals, stores and services are available to the community.
A taste of the sea and people who sail it from the ports of the Atlantic Bluenose coast. Some of the sailors seen and heard in this black and white film are famous: Bill Roue who designed the first Bluenose schooner (still on the Canadian dime) and Captain Angus Walter who brought her to victory.
Did Cartier dream of making a country from this land of a million birds? In his records of his exploration he certainly marvelled at seeing the great auks that have since disappeared from Isle aux Ouaiseaulx, the razor-bills and gannets that are gone from Blanc-Sablon, and the kittiwakes from Anticosti, all the winged creatures of all the islands which he described as being "as full of birds as a meadow is of grass". And that's not even counting the countless snow geese.
This is a documentary about the fragile and complex marine ecosystem in the Bay of Fundy. The film traces relationships within the food chain - from tiny plankton to birds and seals and finally to whales and humans. The film is a plea for careful management of our ocean resource and was first telecast as part of CBC's Nature of Things series.
This short film was shot on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland and shows off the new technology employed on modern fishing boats in the mid-1960s. The featured trawler is open-stern style, allowing full nets to be dragged easily from the sea then lifted to release the silvery catch into the cleaning troughs.
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.
In this documentary short, summer trippers line up for the famous local fried clams and whole families dig for the white mollusc in the tangy air of the sandbars. But as the clams dwindle, so do these tableaux from Maritime culture. For commercial fishermen it's the end of a livelihood; for others, it's the death of a tradition. Can this really be the end of a resource that used to be as plentiful as the air we breathe? In French with English subtitles.
This documentary was made as part of the Tremplin program, with the collaboration of Radio-Canada.
By using film as a catalyst for change, the people of Fogo Island, Newfoundland, voice some of their daily concerns. This film shows how one of the Islanders built a longliner (a fishing boat using long lines) with the help of his friends, overcoming the problems of financing and the lack of tools and government support.
Ages 13 to 18
Family Studies/Home Economics - Consumer Awareness
Family Studies/Home Economics - Food and Nutrition
Geography - Natural Resources
This short documentary shares the story of traditional cod fishermen in Newfoundland who catch cod by hand. Ideal for discussion and research on the economics of the cost and worth of cod that’s hand-caught rather than in mass, industrial fashion. Research the sources of our food supply. Research the differences between traditional and mass production. Research other food that is sourced from traditional sources.