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Film Review: Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World

Film Review: Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World

January 15, 2016

Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World is a documentary that beautifully pairs the breathtaking landscape of Haida Gwaii with insightful and inspiring commentary from the people that live there. Producers Charles Wilkinson and Tina Schliessler not only present significant local issues, but also display them in an artistic and aesthetically magnificent way.

Originally created for British Columbia’s Knowledge Network, the film has already been awarded “Best British Columbia Film” and “Best Canadian Documentary” from the Vancouver Film Critics Circle Awards, as well as proclaimed “Most Popular Canadian Documentary” at VIFF.

The screenings of Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World at the University of Victoria sold out every night ‰ÛÒ a true testament of local excitement and appreciation for the film. It was extended into January, and again each showing was full to the brim. It is a truly amazing documentary and well worth a watch.

Content Overview:
On the Edge of the World weaves together the past, present and future of Haida Gwaii and its inhabitants. It incorporates a diverse range of perspectives, from the Haida hereditary chief, to organic farmers, former loggers, scientists and artists. The film highlights the importance of natural stewardship, an integral Haida belief held by a nation that has thrived in the landscape for 14 000 years. It is a value and way of life that has resisted and triumphed over the unsustainable practices of clear-cut logging and overfishing, and is fundamental to future sustainable development everywhere.

Haida Gwaii, a place that is commonly painted as a pristine environment, has undergone great struggles to restore and maintain its natural landscape. It was only after a series of intense logging protests that Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve was formed. Over 2/3 of the forests have been logged, the herring industry has undergone multiple collapses, the salmon spawn is 1/2 the size it was 50 years ago and now the Haida nation faces threats of oil spills from the proposed tanker traffic from Kitimat to Asia. It has now been realized that “the colonial exploitation of the environment that the Haida have combatted for 500 years, is now the same struggle as the planet.”

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0dBlqM-53w
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HaidaGwaiiFilm/

You can still watch the film in:
Vancouver at Vancity Theatre (Jan. 15-17 & 20) or at The Rio Theatre (Jan. 23 & 29)
Toronto at various venues as part of the Canadian International Documentary Festival (April 28 ‰ÛÒ May 3)
For most recent information see: https://www.facebook.com/HaidaGwaiiFilm/