This short documentary brings to the screen a great seasonal event in the Québec spruce forest—the log drive. In lyrics set to a sprightly tune, ballad singer describes this annual spectacle. A vast aggregation of logs moves downstream on a river, spurred by dynamite and sharp-tipped cant hooks, tossed and twirled by the boots of leaping men.
This short documentary looks at how modern technology affects the forestry industry and the role of the forester in ensuring the sustainability of this great natural resource. It was in the '60s that people started to realize that the forests did not provide an endless supply of wood, and thanks to recent developments in the science of forestry, people are learning how to manage the resources more effectively.
The forests of Québec supply much of the newsprint for North America's newspapers. From fall until spring, the woods echo with the whine of power saws and the shouts of men. It is a tough, cold, and lonely job--the temperature may register -50o but the work continues. A rugged film about a rugged life, it takes you to the very heart of a major Canadian industry.
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.
All along the North Shore from Saint-Tite-des-Caps to the bay of Sept-îles, logging starts with the construction of the camps. But the good logs once used for the legendary log cabins are now turned into planks, beams and rafters in the sawmill that has replaced the side axes and board saws. It takes three seasons to harvest the logs. First the autumn for felling the trees with the chain saws that have taken over from the bow saws and two-handed saws. Then the winter snows to make it easier for the horses to haul the logs to the ice-covered rivers. And finally the wild waters of spring that carry the logs to the wooden schooners that will take them to the mill.
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.
Easily one of the most often-requested films in the NFB collection, this lighthearted animated short is based on the song “The Log Driver’s Waltz” by Wade Hemsworth. Kate and Anna McGarrigle sing along to the tale of a young girl who loves to dance and chooses to marry a log driver over his more well-to-do competitors.
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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.
Ages 10 to 17
Geography - Environmental Issues
Geography - Natural Resources
History and Citizenship Education - Quebec Society Since 1980
This film uses song and voiceover to show the harvesting of lumber in Quebec. Describe the methods of logging. Which one is being represented in this film and how can you tell? Using the songs from the film, describe the uses for the lumber that has been harvested. How are music (tempo and instruments) and lyrics used as a method of conveying theme and purpose in the film? Research the logging industry’s contribution to local and federal economies. Map the movement of the logs shown in this film. How does this compare with the lumber industry today? The seasons play a significant role in telling the story of the lumber industry. Compare this to another primary industry in Canada. Research Lumberjack Games and describe the significance of events such as these in preserving culture.