Pipelines, Power and Democracy is a striking documentary that follows the mobilization of ordinary people to thwart the ambitions of oil companies and halt, even if only temporarily, the advance of pipelines across Quebec. In the process, the film offers a sharp reminder that power can be accessible to all.
This documentary looks at the risks of a proposed sour gas well near Clearwater River, in Rocky Mountain House, Alberta. Farmers and landowners all share concerns. Residents opposed to the well fear a deadly hydrogen sulphide leak. Shell Canada says it must drill to meet energy needs. When mediation talks break down, both sides anxiously await a ruling from Alberta's Energy and Utilities Board.
This short documentary depicts the production of oil in the Turner Valley, in Alberta, from the initial exploration through the use of the finished products. This film is an informative mid-century portrait of the substance that ran so much of the world's daily lives—and still does. Oil men are continually exploring the land with wells that may or may not provide the sought-after substance, while geologists, scientists, and laborers all band together to find oil wherever it may be.
This documentary focuses on boom-and-bust economic cycles, most notably that of Alberta oil during the '70s and early '80s. When the bust hit after a drop in world oil prices, those business people who knew how to "ride a tornado" cut their losses and moved on, while others were left devastated. When Newfoundland was faced with a possible oil boom of its own in the mid-'80s, it took the lessons of Alberta to heart. Part 3 of the series, Reckoning: The Political Economy of Canada.
The people of the Attawapiskat First Nation, a Cree community in northern Ontario, were thrust into the national spotlight in 2012 when the impoverished living conditions on their reserve became an issue of national debate. With The People of the Kattawapiskak River, Abenaki director Alanis Obomsawin quietly attends as community members tell their own story, shedding light on a history of dispossession and official indifference. “Obomsawin’s main objective is to make us see the people of Attawapiskat differently,” said Robert Everett-Green in The Globe & Mail. “The emphasis, ultimately, is not so much on looking as on listening—the first stage in changing the conversation, or in making one possible.” Winner of the 2013 Donald Brittain Award for Best Social/Political Documentary, the film is part of a cycle of films that Obomsawin has made on children’s welfare and rights.
Also available on the Alanis Obomsawin: A Legacy DVD box set
In this feature documentary, Richard Desjardins and Robert Monderie continue in the same provocative vein as their earlier Forest Alert, this time turning their lens on Canada's mining industry. Using striking images, rare archival footage and interviews, The Hole Story analyzes company profits and the impact of mining on the environment and workers’ health.
Director Mirjam Leuze’s The Whale and the Raven illuminates the many issues that have drawn whale researchers, the Gitga’at First Nation, and the Government of British Columbia into a complex conflict. As the people in the Great Bear Rainforest struggle to protect their territory against the pressure and promise of the gas industry, caught in between are the countless beings that call this place home.
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.
This feature documentary represents a quest that is both personal and universal. Director Claude Demers (Barbers: A Men’s Story, Ladies in Blue) revisits the working-class neighbourhood of Verdun where he grew up and asks questions about the mysteries of his origins and his formative years, which were marked by abandonment. Bastien and Cédric, two young boys who are discovering the world around them, serve as the narrator’s alter egos. Between past and present, birth and death, Where I'm From traces the course of one man's redemption. The film marries realism with lyricism and a vibrant soundtrack that celebrates life.
More than a decade after the worldwide financial crisis of 2007–08, what does globalization mean today? Filmmaker-philosopher Jean-Daniel Lafond takes us behind the scenes of the International Economic Forum of the Americas, a massive annual gathering at which economists, financiers and politicians hold forth on the key issues of the day. Featuring first-hand testimonials by nearly two dozen influential men and women, The End of Certainties unfolds as a multi-voice meditation on the state of the world. This observational documentary offers a cogent assessment of globalization—and its ideals, disillusionment, fears and hopes—and the quest for a new humanism, characterized by greater inclusiveness and fairness.
This documentary is the story of citizen activists opposing a methane tanker terminal practically on their doorstep. Lucid and compelling, the film shows citizen action pitted against powerful lobbies and reminds us to be vigilant faced with Quebec's environmental and energy-related issues over the coming years.