Gain a deeper understanding of the people who have lived in Newfoundland and Labrador for the past century – their accomplishments, struggles, traditions, culture, industry and lifestyle.
Films in This Playlist Include
My Ancestors Were Rogues and Murderers
Along Newfoundland's Shores
The Last Days of Okak
This short animation is a remarkably vivid account of the 1914 tragedy in which 132 men were stranded on the ice during a severe snowstorm off the coast of Newfoundland. 78 men froze to death on the pack ice. In the spring of 1914, the last of the wooden seal hunting ships in a steel-dominated industry was the Newfoundland, manned by men from across the province. The ship was unable to reach a seal pack due to its lack of ice-breaking power, and 132 men were ordered off the boat and onto the ice to hunt. The ship had no radio equipment, and the men spent two unbearable nights on the ice. Survivor testimony, striking archival materials, weather visualizations, inventive animation and puppetry are seamlessly blended to recreate this harrowing ordeal.
This feature documentary introduces a dashing Manhattan filmmaker, Varick Frissell, who travels to the wilds of Newfoundland in the 1920s. Backed by Paramount Pictures, Frissell was setting out to make the early sound feature The Viking, an astonishing record of Newfoundland's perilous seal hunt. White Thunder tells this remarkable tale in detail, bringing us back to the undulating icy seas where Frissell would eventually meet his tragic fate.
This feature documentary is a thoughtful contribution to the debate on Canada's seal hunt. An exploration of the unique culture of Newfoundland's outports, the film revisits the PR coup that launched the animal rights movement onto the international stage: the 1977 Newfoundland visit, orchestrated by the International Fund for Animal Welfare, of French actress turned animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot to protest the area's ancestral sealing activities. Soon, inhabitants of the island's northern outports we're being introduced to the world as the epitome of brutality.
Danny Williams was the charismatic and unflinching Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador from 2003 to 2010. By the time he left office, he had become the most popular—and controversial—Canadian politician of his era.
Laced with humour and revealing back-room anecdotes, Danny is the story of how Williams turned a “have not” into a “have” province. Known as a fighter, Williams famously took on prime ministers and Big Oil to ensure that benefits from the province’s abundant natural resources flowed back to its people. His mantra “no more giveaways” was key to his unprecedented popularity, but pride in his province made Williams a hero to its people.
This short documentary includes three vignettes about life off the coast of Newfoundland. In Island of Birds, we visit Green Island, a sea bird sanctuary where puffins frolic. In Caplin Harvest, little silvery fish called caplin spawn by washing ashore along the waves, making an easy catch for fishermen. In Outports on the Move, off-shore houses are pried loose from their foundation and floated to the Newfoundland mainland, where schools, hospitals, stores and services are available to the community.
This short documentary tells the story the once-thriving town of Okak, an Inuit settlement on the northern Labrador coast. Moravian missionaries evangelized the coast and encouraged the growth of Inuit settlements, but it was also a Moravian ship that brought the deadly Spanish influenza during the world epidemic of 1919. The Inuit of the area were decimated, and Okak was abandoned. Through diaries, old photos and interviews with survivors, this film relates the story of the epidemic and examines the relations between natives and missionaries.