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The Back-breaking Leaf

The Back-breaking Leaf

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."

  • director
    Terence Macartney-Filgate
  • camera
    Terence Macartney-Filgate
  • assistant director
    Gilles Gascon
  • editing
    John Spotton
  • sound
    Terence Macartney-Filgate
    Victor Merrill
    George Croll
  • music
    Eldon Rathburn
  • commentary
    Stanley Jackson
  • producer
    Roman Kroitor
    Wolf Koenig
  • executive producer
    Tom Daly


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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.).

The Back-breaking Leaf
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