Here is a graphic picture of the tobacco harvest in southwestern Ontario. At the end of July, transient field workers move in for a brief bonanza when the plant is ripe. The tobacco harvesters call it "the back-breaking leaf."
This short documentary records the rural sights and sounds of the Chateauguay Valley of Quebec. The day of the big stationary threshing machine is almost over, as the machine is pushed into obscurity by the combine harvester. But there are still parts of Canada where crops are gathered in the old-fashioned way as the men work out in the fields and the women manage the kitchen. This film offers a rare and charming glimpse into mid-20th-century rural and family life in Canada.
This short documentary examines the role of corn in the lives of Indigenous peoples in the Americas. Before colonization, corn was widely used as a beverage, a food staple, an oil, and a ceremonial object. It was respected and revered as a critical part of creation. This film explores the powerful bond and spiritual relationship that continues to exist between people and corn.Combining interviews, dance, and song, The Gift captures the traditional, spiritual, economic, and political importance of this sacred plant.
Viewer Advisory: This film contains scenes of animal slaughter..
Fall has come: the harvest festival, hunting and butchering season. The village gets ready for winter. As ties between communities are strengthened, the Gaspé is changing.
This full-length documentary takes us to an unspoiled corner of southern Belize, where cacao farmer and father Eladio Pop manually works his plantation in the tradition of his Mayan ancestors: as a steward of the land. The film captures a year in the life of the Pop family as they struggle to preserve their values in a world that is dramatically changing around them. A lament for cultures lost, The Chocolate Farmer challenges our deeply held assumptions of progress.
A woman with a deep love of the land, Yolande Simard Perrault sees her life as having been shaped by a planetary upheaval in Charlevoix, Quebec, millions of years ago. As enduring as the Canadian Shield, she’s a woman of strength and spirit, a child of the crater left by the meteor’s impact. This documentary portrays a determined woman who’s the reflection of a land created on an immense scale. She was the creative and life partner of filmmaker Pierre Perrault, who gave up everything to be by her side. The film charts the influence of her unquenchable dreams and her contribution to the building of a people’s collective memory. In a stream of images and words, Simard Perrault recounts the splendours of the landscape and the people who shaped it. Generous and boundless, she embarks on a quest for identity that nurtures and perpetuates the oeuvre of the man who breathed new life into Quebec cinema.
Ages 12 to 17
Diversity - Diversity in Communities
Diversity - Identity
Geography - Natural Resources
Geography - Territory: Agricultural
History - World History
Discuss the diverse world of the migrant workers who create a multicultural community during the tobacco harvest. Read John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men" or watch the film adaptation starring John Malkovich and Gary Sinise. Compare the worlds of George and Lennie and the tobacco primers in Ontario (the social order, the friendships, the challenges, etc.).