Saturday, October 24, 2009


Rain, rain rain, what are you going to do?

Well, you are already siting down at your computer, so why not visit the National Film Board of Canada (NFB for short) and look at some of the 700+ films they put online for your entertainment?

We recently enjoyed "Across Arctic Ungava" and this is why:

I recently found this little-jewel of a film: a 20 minute 1940s NFB documentary film about a scientific expedition on canoe across arctic Ungava.

The National Film Board recently began to put their collection online. (You may know this already) On a recent examination I discovered the film "Across Arctic Ungava" which details a scientific trip on canoes across the Ungava peninsula (from hudson bay to Ungava Bay) in late 1940s.

I found several things fascinating in this film:

it is a canoe trip up one river and down another, with route finding in between, a really major adventure before modern mapping

It offers a look at pre-modern era outdoor gear and practices.

19 foot well-loaded wood canoes captained by "indians from seven islands"

Several scientists: botanist, geologist, etc. The geologist carried his own rocks on the portages.

They fly up from Seven islands to Fort Chimo, now Kuujjuaq, then on in a Canso to the hudson Bay starting point of the voyage. Here's a tidbit on fort chimo:
Kuujjuaq previously was known as Fort Chimo. Chimo is a mispronunciation of the phrase saimuuq, "Let's shake hands!" Early fur traders were often welcomed with this phrase which they eventually adopted as the name of the trading post.

The Canso plane used for the last leg of the trip was built in Montreal, at the Canadair Plant 1 factory in St-Laurent.

It offered a rare look at our northern civilization in the pre-modern-conveniences era.

There were lots and lots and lots of bugs.

It offers plenty of good clean entertainment and a nice easy length of 20 minutes.

Here's the link to the nfb and this film. This is a good "tv on the pc" place. The film was on a playlist for "fun films about science and technology"

Here's the link: Across_Arctic_Ungava

Here's the NFB homepage:


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