Monday, January 23, 2012

The Romance of the Far Fur Country - HBC Film.

An documentary made in 1919, by order of HBC (Hudson Bay Company) to advertise the possibility of people settle in the north, and arctic. The Ship was the RMS Nascopie coming from Montreal, with two camera men on board to capture the as the title of the doc was called "The Romance of the Far Fur Country". They sailed the seas and walked the land for six months filming the rough landscape and the people who lived there, they captured everything HBC.  They caught footage of dogsledding, portages, running rapids, Inuits processing hides, unloading massive icebreakers, everything "daily life" for anyone connected to HBC. It ended up being used to celebrate HBC 250 year instead of the advertising of the North. When it was originally shown it was accompanied by a live orchestra, and played to full theaters. Shortly after its theater run it faded from existence, and in the 50's the mismatch reels where given to British Film Institute Archive, for safe keeping. In the 80's a safety copy was made and later "found" by Peter Geller, surprised that it had survived into the 21st century. The film was then recently transferred back to HBC in Canada for their archives, and is again now in 2012 being show across the country to full theatre houses. What I think is really amazing is that the film in 2012 is being shown to the ancestors of some of the people actually in the film.

The Original Article That I summarized. (Thanks Colin).

The Romance of the Far Fur Country site, with play times and locations, as well as more history on the project.


  1. Thanks for this! Some choice shots, even in that trailer.

    Are the showings being accompanied by an orchestra (as the original was)? Or are they substituting a more modern soundtrack (as the clip above does)?

    I'm guessing the original film wasn't a "talkie." If that's true, does the documentary include title cards to explain what's going on to the audience?

  2. I don't think they are playing it with a orchestra. I haven't actually seen it. I hope they come out with a dvd, as the locations that they are playing do not included anywhere near me at this time.