CM . . . . Volume XVII Number 16. . . .December 17, 2010.
The Trap: Fisherman and Buddhist Monks on Cape Breton: Two Worlds, One Idea.
Lina Verchery (Director). Murielle Rioux-Poirier (Producer). Jacques Turgeon (Executive Producer).
Montreal, PQ: National Film Board of Canada, 2007.
19 min., 25 sec., DVD, $99.95.
Order Number: 153E 9908 306.
Grades 7 and up / Ages 12 and up.
Review by Cathy Vincent-Linderoos.
The Trap is a short film about the similarities between lobster fishermen's belief in sustaining the Cape Breton lobster population where they trap and that of the local Buddhist monks and nuns who also endeavour to support the lobster life-cycle. The reasons for the release of some of the trapped lobsters are slightly different but ultimately work together towards the same end - replenishing the fishery.
I enjoyed this film because of the interesting way the stories of the fishermen and the Buddhists unfolded. It moved very quickly, and viewers will see an aspect of Cape Breton life that would not likely be encountered even if they visited the island. The photography was beautiful.
The fishermen always throw back female lobsters if even one egg is visible. Male lobsters do not fare as well. Once a season, the Buddhist colony members purchase the last catch of lobsters from the fishermen and pay cash for them. Then, they release all these animals back into the water.
The Buddhists believe that the animals will be reincarnated when they die. Many life-forms are possible, including the human form. In the fishermen's practice with respect to female lobsters, the species is perpetuated and thus the fishery thrives.
Elements of the Buddhist faith are explained by a senior monk. Viewers also see the fishermen explaining their conservation habits. Captions are well-used here because they speak rapidly in French. The film can be watched in English or French.
I would most likely show this film in a biology class when studying reproduction or conservation. It could also be shown in a world religions or media course.
Cathy Vincent-Linderoos is a retired science teacher living in London, ON.
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