Paper Wheat
Challenge for Change - A selection by Thomas Waugh, Ezra Winton, Michael Baker

Paper Wheat

| 57 min
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This film, based on the play of the same name, portrays the harsh lives of early Saskatchewan settlers and the foundation of the co-op movement on the Prairies.

Paper Wheat was among the last of the films produced within the Challenge for Change program. It chronicles an agitprop theatre troupe's tour of the Prairies with a show examining the history of the Saskatchewan wheat pool.

The play, based largely on interviews with members of farming communities across the province, reached out to local audiences and told them their own stories in a way that mainstream theatre at the time did not. Contributor Chris Meir argues "the film itself adapts the formal and political concerns of the play, while also documenting an important moment in Canada's and Saskatchewan's cultural history in its attempt to make a positive intervention in the life of the nation and the province."

Paper Wheat is perhaps one of the most widely seen CFC films, as it was broadcast on CBC several times after its release in 1979, the same year as the film version of alternative theatre classic Hair – the most internationally famous product of the Vietnam-era alternative theatre movement.

Thomas Waugh, Ezra Winton, Michael Baker
From the playlist: Challenge for Change

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  • director
    Albert Kish
  • editing
    Albert Kish
  • producer
    Adam Symansky
  • executive producer
    Peter Katadotis
  • photography
    Barry Perles
  • sound
    Claude Delorme
  • sound editing
    Abbey Jack Neidik
  • cast
    Sharon Bakker
    Michael Fahey
    David Francis
    Lynne Hostein
    Skai Leja
    Lubomir Mykytiuk
    Bill Prokopchuk

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  • HeavenPalace

    Its a pity that good shows like these are slowly dwindling.

    HeavenPalace, 11 May 2012
  • cyelland

    Wonderful ! Sad to see it come to an end now, This program should be shown now across Canada.

    cyelland, 27 Feb 2012
  • Mario

    Done with a lot of TASTE. History repeats itself.... again. The rich have always SWINDLED the poor. Mario.

    Mario, 9 Mar 2010