Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World review

Hot Docs 2015 Review: Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World

Haida Gwaii is an archipelago off the Northwest Coast of British Columbia. When colonization began, the Haida Gwaiian people were decimated. Their land has been slowly destroyed through logging and over-fishing, but the people of Haida Gwaii stood up to government and big business to bring their lands back to life. Now they face another battle as companies want to lay pipelines directly through their land, as well as filling the dangerous waters around them with tankers.

So often, films like Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World only show us the terrible damage done to Native lands from corporate and government interference. While that may play a part in this film, it also shows us how the Haida Gwaiian people have reclaimed not only the land so that it can thrive, but have taken over the very types of business that destroyed the land in the first place. By owning these companies, the people who live off the land are able to balance making a living with respect for that same land.

That’s what makes this film so special. It not only presents a solution to the problem, but shows people actively using those solutions. They understand that these jobs are important for people who live there, but they also know how to continue doing things without ruining the world around them.

Is Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World essential festival viewing?

This is a wonderful film about the environment that doesn’t just talk about solutions, but shows people actually putting those ideas to good use.

Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World screening times

Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World trailer


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William Brownridge

Raised on a healthy diet of Star Wars and every horror film on a video store shelf, Will has been watching movies since before he was able to talk. Inspired by an ever growing passion for film, and the occasional mind control experiment, Will began writing film review on his personal blog, The Film Reel. When the mind control experiments actually worked, he was able to secure a position with Toronto Film Scene. He now waits patiently in the TFS basement for October to come every year, when his love for horror films finally pays off.

One thought on “Hot Docs 2015 Review: Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World”

  1. Came across this website by chance. I’ve had the privilege to travel to Haida Gwaii – unforgettable – so I am very pleased to see their people fighting for their land. I live in Switzerland and would very much like to see this doc. Any idea where I can find it? DVD, VOD? Thanks

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