From toxic waste to organic farming and everything in between, this playlist offers secondary students an overview of the environment and the many issues that fall under its purview.
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Films in This Playlist Include
An Ecology of Hope
St. Lawrence: Stairway to the Sea
Cries from the Deep
Worst Case Scenario
Crapshoot: Gamble with Our Waste
Up the Yangtze (Short Version)
Where the Bay Becomes the Sea
The Fight for True Farming
David Suzuki Virtual Classroom: Our Food Systems – Are You Hungry for Change?
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 documentary records the journey undertaken by Jacques Cousteau, his 24-member team, and an NFB film crew to explore the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, one of the world's richest fishing areas. They discover shipwrecks, film icebergs and observe beluga whales, humpback whales and harp seals. The film also includes a fascinating sequence showing Calypso divers freeing a calf whale entrapped in a fishing net.
This documentary looks at the risks of a proposed sour gas well near Clearwater River, in Rocky Mountain House, Alberta. Farmers and landowners all share concerns. Residents opposed to the well fear a deadly hydrogen sulphide leak. Shell Canada says it must drill to meet energy needs. When mediation talks break down, both sides anxiously await a ruling from Alberta's Energy and Utilities Board.
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 documentary looks at the hazards of uranium mining in Canada. Toxic and radioactive waste pose environmental threats while the traditional economic and spiritual lives of the Aboriginal people who occupy this land have been violated. Given our limited knowledge of the associated risks, this film questions the validity of continuing the mining operations.
A hazardous mix of waste is flushed into the sewer every day. The billions of litres of water - combined with unknown quantities of chemicals, solvents, heavy metals, human waste and food - where does it all go? And what does it do to us? Filmed in Italy, India, Sweden, the United States and Canada, this bold documentary questions our fundamental attitudes to waste. Does our need to dispose of waste take precedence over public safety? What are the alternatives?
For almost three decades, internationally renowned Canadian artist Edward Burtynsky has been creating large scale photographs of landscapes transformed by industry: quarries, scrap heaps, factories, recycling yards, dams. Manufactured Landscapes follows Burtynsky to China as he travels the country capturing the evidence and effects of China's massive industrial revolution. Rarely witnessed sites such as the Three Gorges Dam (50% larger than any other dam in the world), the interior of a factory which produces 20 million irons a year, and the breathtaking scale of Shanghai's urban renewal are subjects for his lens and our motion picture camera. Shot in sumptuous super 16mm film, Manufactured Landscapes extends the narratives of Burtynsky's photographs, meditating on human impact on the planet without trying to reach simplistic judgements or reductive resolutions. In the process, the film shifts our consciousness about the world and the way we live in it.
Windmill Point Farm is a 70-acre island of hope in a sea of industrial agribusinesses that poison the surrounding land. Dr. Ken Taylor is an organic farmer with a PhD in chemistry, a degree that gives him unusual authority when assessing the damage we are doing to ourselves and to the environment by buying genetically engineered and pesticide-laden food.
Organic Prophecies chronicles one man's innovative approaches on a farm in southwestern Quebec. Not only does Ken farm without GMOs, chemical fertilizers and herbicides, he also grows thousands of heirloom nuts, vegetables and fruits, helping to preserve our vital heritage.
We also meet some of the customers who buy his organic produce--people who depend upon it for healthy food and peace of mind. This film makes prophetic statements about the sorry state of conventional agriculture and the viable alternatives.
In this feature length film Gary Burns, Canada's king of surreal comedy, joins journalist Jim Brown on an outing to the suburbs. Venturing into territory both familiar and foreign, they turn the documentary genre inside out, crafting a vivid account of life in The Late Suburban Age.
This feature documentary is an investigation into the effects of the chemicals we are all exposed to in our daily lives. The film begins with the filmmaker Barri Cohen’s own 10-year-old daughter, whose blood carries carcinogens like benzene and the long-banned DDT. Then, it heads out to Windsor and Sarnia: Canadian toxic hotspots, with startling clusters of deadly diseases. The film presents passionate activists working for positive change, along with doctors and scientists who see evidence of links between environmental pollution and health problems. Carried by Cohen's passion for truth and her disarming openness, this moving documentary is essential viewing for anyone concerned about the effects of pollutants on our - and our children's - very DNA.
Toxic Trespass is accompanied by a comprehensive guidebook for educators, activists and concerned citizens, produced by the Women's Healthy Environment Network.
A luxury cruise boat motors up the Yangtze - navigating the mythic waterway known in China simply as 'the river.' See it while you can. The Yangtze is about to be transformed by the biggest hydroelectric dam in history. At the river's edge - a young woman says goodbye to her family as the floodwaters rise towards their small homestead.
The Three Gorges Dam - contested symbol of the Chinese economic miracle - provides the epic backdrop for Up the Yangtze, a dramatic feature documentary on life inside the 21st century Chinese dream. Chinese-Canadian filmmaker Yung Chang crafts a moving depiction of peasant life, a powerful narrative of contemporary China, and a disquieting glimpse into a future that awaits us all.
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.
For many people, global warming is something happening somewhere else to somebody else, but for millions, it is right at their doorstep. This film journeys across the globe, from the Canadian Arctic to northern Kenya, from the U.S. Midwest to China and India, visiting communities where lives and livelihoods are being affected in dramatic ways.
Putting a face to the reality of global warming illuminates the impact of recent climate change, delivering a new perspective to audiences worldwide. The question is no longer whether climate change is happening, but whether we can respond to the emergency before it's too late.
In this documentary, crop and animal farmers in Quebec, the Canadian West, the US Northeast and France offer solutions to the social and environmental scourges of factory farming. Driven by the forces of globalization, rampant agribusiness is harming the environmemt and threatening the survival of farms. The proliferation of GMO crops is a further threat to biodiversity as well as to farmers' autonomy. In Europe as well as North America, a current of resistance bringing together farmers and consumers insists that it is possible - indeed imperative - to grow food differently.
This short documentary takes a look at the changing face of PEI's agricultural industry. Once famous for its spuds and red mud, this tiny island province now has higher than average cancer and respiratory illness rates. Is there a link to industrialized farming? Rather than dwelling on PEI’s worrisome monocropping practices, Island Green dares to ask: What if PEI went entirely organic?
The stirring words of PEI-born poet Tanya Davis are coupled with beautiful imagery and poignant stories from the island’s small but growing community of organic farmers, reminding us that we can rob the land only so much before it robs us of the nourishment we need for life. Island Green is ultimately a story of hope and healthy promise.
The NFB, in partnership with the David Suzuki Foundation and Humber College invite Canadian students to get together—virtually—and talk about the impact that modern food systems might be having on our health, land and food security. Environmentalist and broadcaster Dr. David Suzuki is joined by J.B. MacKinnon, Utcha Sawyers, and Tanya Davis, whose compelling poem appears in the NFB film Island Green, a look at conventional and organic farming on Prince Edward Island. Co-hosted by the NFB, DSF and Humber College, this special event is geared towards high school seniors, student groups and college and university classes.