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Audacine Inc., 1990. VHS cassette, three parts, each 23:00 min., $420.00
Distrib­uted by Canadian Filmmakers Distribu­tion Centre, 67A Portland St., Toronto, Ontario M5V 2M9

Grades 10 and up/Ages 15 and up
Reviewed by Doug Watling.

Volume 19 Number 1
1991 January

The co-operative movement in Canada is alive and well, judging by Canada in the Time between Ages. This very deliberate film lingers over fishing co-ops in Newfoundland and P.E.I., a tool-and-die plant in Quebec, a Hutterite colony and refinery co-op in Alberta, and a co-operative mill in B.C. All are apparently prospering.

The film's title hints at the quandary addressed by the co-operative solution: technology and dwindling resources are threatening established occupations and ways of life. Ironically, banding together to raise capital and acquire necessary technology can sustain profit and jobs. The evidence of this film is hard to dispute.

The film itself is slow, bordering on torpid. The narration, aided by back­ground music, is understated and earnest. Members of the co-ops provide commentary in the appropriate seg­ments. The filmmakers provide land­scape and urban footage for context and shots of abandoned work places to underscore the consequences of inac­tion. The mood is somber, but effective. The pacing, however, threatens to scuttle the film.

Luckily, the longish Hutterite segment is engrossing enough that pacing ceases to matter. The Hutterite life-style may be anachronistic, but these people have embraced technology with real fervour. The tensions you might expect to have developed simply don't exist. The entire colony is self-sustain­ing, the members dedicated and fulfilled. If pragmatism, forward thinking and unity are co-operative ideals, then the Hutterites are the perfect model.

Doug Watling, West Credit Secondary School, Mississauga, Ont.
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