Transport Yourself to the Canadian Rockies With These 5 Docs

Films

Even among the rest of Canada’s incredible wilderness, the Rocky Mountains hold a special allure and status. Home to majestic fauna, towering peaks, and views to steal your breath away, they’re the stuff of fantasy, made reality. Over millennia, they have been home to many a great adventure.

A number of films from our collection have been set in this region, capturing important stories about the people and wild things who have called the Rockies home. Transport yourself there by watching these five films. They capture some of the Rockies’ historical and contemporary issues, as well as plenty of scenes of the natural splendour that defines the area.

Shining Mountains – Once and Future Wild

Part of a larger series about the historical and contemporary Rockies, this doc lays out some of the important environmental concerns of the region, and some of the work being done to address them. Good research, compelling images, and a direct script make this a powerful plea for meaningful environmental protection for the region.

Shining Mountains – Once and Future Wild, Guy Clarkson, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

Railroaders

Not so long ago, it was Canada’s railways that kept its people connected from coast to coast, facilitating communication, exchange, and travel across great distances. This doc offers a look at some of the difficulties in maintaining this connection during winter in the Rockies, and the men whose efforts were able to overcome those obstacles. It’s a great example of the kind of important, human stories that have taken place in these largely untamed lands.

Railroaders, Guy L. Coté, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

Shining Mountains – Land of Riches

Another entry from the Shining Mountains series, this doc peers into the past of the Rocky Mountains, discussing feats of engineering, politicking, and exploring that made the region an important part of Canada’s identity. It’s a good introduction to some history that you might not otherwise get a chance to learn about, and a chance to gain a deeper understanding about this special place.

Shining Mountains – Land of Riches, Guy Clarkson, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

Water for the Prairies

Glaciers in the Rockies are an important source of water for the prairie provinces, but unsustainable exploitation of both the water and nearby lands can put that resource in jeopardy. This doc explores some of the ecological issues associated with making careless use of the region’s resources, and the measures that were implemented many years ago to ensure their beauty and utility were preserved for decades to come. For the environmentally conscious, it’s an informative and uplifting piece.

Water for the Prairies, Lawrence Cherry, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

Temples of Time

It’s impossible to truly capture the beauty of the Rocky Mountains with words, and this doc doesn’t try to. No dialogue or voiceover are used in this film. Instead, the mists, wildlife, and natural curiosities of the Rockies offered without distraction. A great film to watch at the end of a long day, and likely to give you an itch for the adventure and solitude of these great mountains.

Temples of Time, William Canning, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

Image credit: Trafalgar