This short documentary looks at the deep gorge of the Fraser River, shadowed by the mountain ranges of British Columbia. It is a highway for the mysterious migration of the Pacific salmon. The river shallows appear red with the flailing fish as they push up-river to spawn and die. A natural wonder puzzling to the scientist, the fish migration of spring and summer provides renewed activity for fishermen and cannery workers.
This short documentary follows east and west coast salmon from river to sea and back again. Vivid close-ups capture exciting moments of the salmon hatching, jumping rapids and performing their intricate spawning ritual. The film also takes a look at threats posed by high-seas salmon fishing and the Canadian government's attempts to protect the salmon runs.
This documentary explores the ecosystems of the intertidal zone in British Columbia. An "intertidal zone" is an area that is covered by the highest tides and exposed during the lowest. The filmmakers study the ecology of this unique environment, including its life cycles and food chains.
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.
In this feature-length documentary, husband and wife team Karsten Heuer (wildlife biologist) and Leanne Allison (environmentalist) follow a herd of 120,000 caribou on foot across 1500 km of Arctic tundra. In following the herd's migration, the couple hopes to raise awareness of the threats to the caribou's survival. Along the way they brave Arctic weather, icy rivers, hordes of mosquitoes and a very hungry grizzly bear. Dramatic footage and video diaries combine to provide an intimate perspective of an epic expedition.
This short documentary illustrates the work of the Department of Fisheries in combatting the problems caused by a rockslide in British Columbia’s Babine River during the annual salmon run.
In this spectacular feature-length documentary, oceanographer Jacques Cousteau and an NFB crew sail up the St. Lawrence River to the Great Lakes on board the specially equipped vessel, the Calypso. They explore the countryside from their helicopter and plumb the depths of the waters in their diving saucer. They encounter shipwrecks, the Manicouagan power dam, Niagara Falls, the locks of the St. Lawrence Seaway and an underwater chase with caribou.
This adventure film features Scott McVay, an authority on whales, and filmmaker Bill Mason. The objective was to film the bowhead, a magnificent inhabitant of the cold Arctic seas brought to the edge of extinction by overfishing. With helicopter and Inuit guide, aqualungs and underwater cameras, the expedition searches out and meets the bowhead and beluga.
Please note that this is an archival film that makes use of the word “Eskimo,” an outdated and offensive term. While the origin of the word is a matter of some contention, it is no longer used in Canada. The term was formally rejected by the Inuit Circumpolar Council in 1980 and has subsequently not been in use at the NFB for decades. This film is therefore a time-capsule of a bygone era, presented in its original version. The NFB apologizes for the offence caused.
The NFB's 10th Oscar®-nominated film.
This short sea-faring documentary follows the operations of a herring boat and her crew in the coastal waters of British Columbia. The Western Girl trawler, her skipper, and his men race to get their catch before the quota is taken and the fishing area closed. Teamwork is paramount in an enterprise that has a great element of risk; competition is keen and one man's mistake may mean severe loss, so that a year of plenty may be followed by a year of famine.
This nature documentary shows the immense flocks of birds, their habits and their dependence on the wetlands of the Prairies. The Prairies are the incubators of vast numbers of Canadian waterfowl, principally ducks, but as more land is drained and cultivated there are fewer breeding grounds. Produced by the NFB for the Canadian Wildlife Service.
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.
Ages 12 to 17
Geography - Natural Resources
History and Citizenship Education - Culture and Currents of Thought (1500-present)
Media Education - Documentary Film
Social Studies - Environmental Challenges
Ask students to examine the role of the salmon harvest in today's Canadian economy. Have students research and debate developments in fish farming (differences from natural stocks; its pros and cons). Have them illustrate the life cycle in a creative way (animation; drama; Reader's Theatre). Have media students compare the film's style to contemporary documentary, and examine the effect of its dramatic depiction of the salmon's role in the Canadian economy.