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On the Trail of the Far Fur Country

This screening took place on
Sunday, March 15, 2015 at 6:00pm
Yukon Arts Centre

In 1919, a film crew set out on an epic journey across Canada’s North. Over the course of six months, their expedition traveled by icebreaker, canoe, and dog sled, capturing the Canadian fur trade in a silent feature documentary. The Romance of the Far Fur Country was released in 1920, two years before the legendary film Nanook of the North.

Rediscovering the documentary in a British archive, another film crew begins a journey to bring this lost film back to life, taking it to the northern communities where the film was originally shot. As people watch the footage from 1919, something special happens. Images come to life; people recognize their family members, their landscapes, and their lost traditions. Contrasting then and now, On Trail of the Far Fur Country is an intimate portrait of Canada and Aboriginal people, and a chronicle of how life in the North has changed in the last century.

In 2011, a community of archivists, academics and filmmakers began a project to bring the 1919 film footage back to Canada, then to return these archival moving images to the communities of origin. Through the sponsorship of the Hudson’s Bay Company Archives / Archives of Manitoba, and cooperation of the British Film Institute in London England, the film elements were returned to Winnipeg, Canada. The restoration work began. On the Trail of the Far Fur Country tells the story of this lost film and the journey back to the same communities where it was first shot in 1919: from Kimmirut, Nunavut to Alert Bay, BC to Fort Chipewyan, AB.

In English and Inuktitut w English subtitles

  • Directed by Kevin Nikkel
  • 2014, Manitoba
  • 80 minutes
  • Film Subtitled
On the Trail of the Far Fur Country

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