________________ CM . . . . Volume III Number 1 . . . . September 6, 1996

Notable Canadian Videos.

Reviews by Lorrie Andersen.

The Fortress of Louisbourg: making history

Folkus Atlantic, 1995. VHS, 40 minutes.
Distributed by Folkus Atlantic.

Finding really good, recently produced videos on Canadian history or geography topics which are also valuable classroom tools have been as scarce as hen's teeth over the last few years. A new one which is most welcome is The Fortress of Louisbourg: making history. At forty minutes it is a little long for classroom use, but there are logical places to make breaks if it must be segmented.

space The video combines the historical role of the 18th century fortress of Louisbourg, with the reconstruction of life during those times, with an appreciation of the conservation work, which enables us today to view the life of those times. And so, we are provided with historical vignettes of lives of merchants, soldiers, the people celebrating the Fete de St. Louis and other characters of the 18th century, as well as the archeologists, the construction workers, the interpretive specialists, and the historians who have recreated clothing, food, pewter spoons, earthenware, muskets, buildings with period architectural detail, furnishings, crafts and social customs of the day. Short of a personal visit to the site, Canadian students are treated to an authentic glimpse of that period of our Canadian history, its role in the development of Canada as well as the specialists who today bring that world to life.

Recommended, Grade 5 to 12

Wetlands : Cradles of life

CTV, 1995. VHS, 24 minutes.
Distributed by Magic Lantern Communications Ltd.

"Scientists and environmentalists recognize the importance of biodiversity provided by wetlands across North America. Instead of continuing to destroy wetlands, landowners, special interest groups and individuals of all ages are benefitting from, and enjoying, the living things in this unique ecosystem" says the blurb.

space The basic message behind this video is to preserve marshes, bogs and fens. In conveying this message we are shown adults and children who enjoy learning about the flora and fauna of wetlands as well as the enemies of the wetlands in the form of urban development, agriculture, and even purple loosestrife invasion. Interviews are given by a biologist, a farmer, representatives of the North America Waterfowl Management partnership and Ducks Unlimited. Sustainable development is advocated. The benefits of the marshes through their ability to decontaminate water and for their role in holding the carbon dioxide stored in the peat which, if destroyed, would release methane gas into the atmosphere are some of the final closing messages.

Recommended, Grade 5 to 12


National Film Board of Canada, 1995. VHS, 87 minutes.
Distributed by the NFB.

Certainly, not an essential purchase for a school, but an interesting documentary for those of us who do not know the workings of a modern Canadian school and today's youth. The blurb summarizes it well:

"Roaming the corridors and classrooms of Montreal's Rosemount High School in true cinema vérité style, this stirring documentary records a transitional year in the lives of Grade 7 students and teachers...Lessons takes us to the heart of what it's like for Grade 7 kids who enter high school at the bottom of the social ladder. It's that pivotal time when kids are struggling with issues of family, entity, self-esteem and sexuality; issues of lifelong concern which, all of a sudden, feel weighty with consequence."

Recommended, Adult.

Lorrie Andersen is a Collections Development Consultant with the Manitoba Education nd Training Instructional Resources Library.

Distributor Information:

Folkus Atlantic Video Productions
89 Cottage Road
Sydney, Nova Scotia
Canada B1P 2C9
(902) 539-3363 / 539-0077

Magic Lantern Communications Ltd
775 Pacific Road, Unit 38
Oakville, Ontario
Canada L6L 6M4
(905) 827-1155

National Film Board of Canada
Box 6100, Station Centre-Ville
Montreal, Quebec
Canada H3C 3H5
(800) 267-7710

Copyright © 1996 the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364