Conversations on the Lake

Edie Steiner

2014, 43:50 minutes, Colour, English


Conversations on the Lake is a documentary investigating politics of dwelling in rural Northwestern Ontario communities along the Lake Superior north shore. The film explores how the land, its waters, and its landscapes are valued by citizens who live and work in the region, expressing a sense of place unique to the area.

With the landscape as a central character of the film, speakers from rural towns, environmental organizations, and First Nation communities give voice to diverse ecological and social themes affecting Lake Superior and its environs. The testimonials by speakers in the film express the importance of local knowledge as a means of community building, and reveals how the far spread locations of the rural provincial north are in a sense a connected web shaping a singular though loosely connected community. The role of class in rural northern resource-based communities, the dualisms and tensions between conservation and extraction of natural resources, the intersections of local, regional, and global politics affecting environmental themes in the area, and the local landscape as a unique and relevant character in the culture of Northwestern Ontario are primary and interlacing themes revealed in the project.

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