________________ CM . . . . Volume XII Number 12 . . . . February 17, 2006

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Being Caribou.

Leanne Allison & Diana Wilson (Directors & Writers). Tracey Friesen (Producer). Rina Fraticelli (Executive Producer).
Montreal, PQ: National Film Board of Canada, 2004.
72 min., VHS or DVD, $99.95.
Order Number: C9104 179.

Subject Headings:
Caribou-Migration-Yukon Terrority.
Caribou-Ecology-Yukon Terrority.

Grades 7 and up / Ages 13 and up.

Review by Catherine Hoyt.

*** /4

This wife and husband team of environmentalist and biologist left the remote community of Old Crow, Yukon, to join the 123,000 member endangered herd of Porcupine Caribou Herd for a five month journey on foot over snow and tundra to Alaska's Arctic national Wildlife Refuge. Viewers can follow them as they ski and hike across mountains, swim icy rivers, endure vicious mosquitoes, encounter a hungry grizzly bear and brave Arctic weather.

     This documentary was made to bring to light the effects of oil drilling in the Refuge and to persuade the US administration to honor its international commitment with Canada to protect the Porcupine Caribou and their habitat. The filming does seem a bit amateur, but that aspect added to the documentary feel of the video. I rather enjoyed the added amusement of the filmmakers Leanne Allison and Karsten Heuer bringing their US President George Bush doll with them on their trip. Americans probably wouldn't find it quite as amusing. The use of raw footage and video diaries allow the viewers to really share in this journey.
     
     Being Caribou is recommended for public and school libraries. This 72-minute video or DVD may be appropriate for use in high school social or environmental studies classes. However, I found the shot of the biologist's naked behind while he bathed in the great outdoors rather unnecessary.


Recommended.

Catherine Hoyt has returned from maternity leave and is now the Acting Head of Public Services for New Brunswick Public Library Service.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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