This documentary tells the haunting story of the Klondike Gold Rush in legendary Dawson City. Peppered with Robert Service poems read by New Zealand-born Hollywood actor Russell Crowe, the film recounts how stampedes of fortune seekers came to the Yukon from far and wide in 1897. Less than half of the 100,000 adventurers ever finished the treacherous journey. Archival photographs re-create the saga of the Klondike, including stories from the deadly Chilkoot Pass and Dawson City itself, where fortunes were made and lost overnight. With a personal stake and a sense of wonder, filmmaker Rita Roy discovers a territory still vibrant with legends, and miners still panning for gold under the spell of the harsh yet stunning wilderness.
Filmed in the town of Normétal in northern Québec, this short documentary provides a first-hand introduction to life in a frontier mining community where all roads lead to the pithead. Dweller of two worlds, the copper miner's life is one of contrasts. A mile underground are the rock face, the clattering drills, the dust of explosions; above ground, all the familiar activities of a small town.
These vignettes from 1951 covered various aspects of life in Canada and were shown in theatres across the country. Subjects included here are British Columbia's Cariboo Trail, once the scene of a great gold rush and which still pays off for the placer miner and occasional prospector; Canada's new state residence at 24 Sussex Drive in Ottawa, a redesigned old stone mansion destined to become Canada's No. 10 Downing Street; a unique ceremony in remote Chesterfield Inlet as the first Inuit girl in history receives the veil of the Grey Nuns; Great Lakes conservationists outsmart the eel-like bloodsucker that preys on fish; and the new blue model uniforms designed for the Women's Division of the Air Force.
Please note that this is an archival film that makes use of the word “Eskimo,” an outdated and offensive term.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.
This classic short film from Pierre Berton depicts the Klondike gold rush at its peak, when would-be prospectors struggled through harsh conditions to reach the fabled gold fields over 3000 km north of civilization. Using a collection of still photographs, the film juxtaposes the Dawson City at the height of the gold rush with its bustling taverns and dance halls with the more tranquil Dawson City of the present.
Travelling Blacksmith: A glimpse of a vanishing trade in Nova Scotia--blacksmithing and horseshoeing. A House Full of Ships: Eugène Leclerc, French-Canadian craftsman, carves replicas of sailing ships. Gold in the Cariboo: Miner John McDougall works abandoned gold mines in the Cariboo district of British Columbia. No. 9 in the series.
This short film focuses on the legend of a lost gold mine and a river in the Northwest Territories that lured men to their doom. Albert Faille, an aging prospector, set out time and again to find hidden gold. His route took him through the wild and awesome land particularly suited to the mood of this Canadian odyssey.
This short documentary examines the changing relations between labour and management in the long-established company town of Trail, BC, in which 90% of the workforce is employed by Cominco, the world’s largest lead-zinc smelter. The metal workers in the town are outspoken about the health risks associated with their line of work, and a debate about unionization ensues. The days of paternalistic management are gone, and the emphasis is now on participation and involvement. An eventual strike over dissatisfaction with labour relations turns violent when management, union executives, and workers clash over competing interests.
This short documentary is a portrait of the town of Stewart, British Columbia. Situated near the tip of the Alaska panhandle, Stewart has slowed down considerably since its heyday during the gold rush of the 1920s. But the Granduc copper mine still runs there, and the town is blessed with some of the most spectacular scenery of the province. Old-timers stay as long as they can shovel the snow, but younger miners often leave because of the isolation and boredom. Here, Stewart residents open up about the ups and downs of frontier living.
When Cartier wintered at Cap Rouge near Québec City in 1641, he claimed to have detected diamonds in the surrounding hills. Was he so very wrong? Three centuries later, 15,000 men have come to excavate the iron mountains of the Canadian tundra where the rust of those diamonds still sparkles.
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.
What happens to two dying coal towns in British Columbia when an American corporation provides a contract for millions of tons of coking coal? The film follows the consequences for the towns of Natal and Michel, suggesting that industrial growth has its price, especially with regard to the environment.
This feature-length film tells the story of the passion between Marie de l’Incarnation, a mid-seventeenth-century nun and God, her "divine spouse." Fusing documentary and acting by Marie Tifo, whom we follow as she rehearses for this demanding role, the film paints an astonishing portrait of this mystic who abandoned her son and left France to build a convent in Canada, where she became the first female writer in New France.