I stumbled upon the website of a very interesting film project today. “Return of the Far Fur Country” is the result of efforts to piece together a long-lost film celebrating the history of Hudson’s Bay. As you can see from the trailer below, it’s a fascinating look into trapping’s past and the history of Canada.
The film roots began in 1919, when Hudson’s Bay, still an international fur trading business at that time, was preparing to celebrate their 250th anniversary the next year. The company brought two cameramen in from New York to make a feature film on Hudson’s Bay’s history. And the crew lugged their gear by foot, canoe, dogsled and icebreaker through the Canadian North to places that had never been filmed before.
After ”The Romance of the Far Fur Country” premiered on May 23, 1920, at Winnipeg’s Allen Theatre and then toured through Western Canada and briefly in London, the film was stored in an archive in London, where it went unseen by the public for close to 90 years. For the last two years, Five Door Films and the Hudson’s Bay Company Archives have been collaborating in order to bring the footage back to Canada.
“‘Return of the Far Fur Country’ is all about putting what is perhaps the most important record of northern Canadian life, back on the screen,” the project’s website says. “Unbeknownst to the filmmakers in 1919, their footage has become an extraordinary time-capsule, a moving history of how Canada has developed as a nation.”
For more information, including opportunities to watch the film, visit the “Return of Far Fur Country” here: www.returnfarfurcountry.ca.