10 films or series to watch on agriculture

10 films ou séries à voir sur l’agriculture

Agriculture holds a fundamental place in our society and our history, and we wanted to offer you 10 films or documentary series which have marked the eras, and help us understand the progress we have made and our current agricultural context. And what better way than in the heart of the Quebec winter to have movie nights, and at the same time discover our great filmmakers.

Please note: the titles are presented in the order of the most recent, they are all of Quebec origin except one, and the majority are offered for free streaming.

1. Cultivate change

2023 | 3 episodes
Market Gardener Institute / Fonds FTQ

Sustainable development concerns each of our actions, including our eating habits. And we know that the use of pesticides is very harmful to health, but organic farms only represent 3% of farms in Quebec. In this three-episode series, emerging agricultural producers open their doors to us and take us on a discovery of small-scale organic farming, setting the table to be able to change the statistics and eat healthier.

2. Harvest in winter

2023 | 52min
Amélie Dussault

Growing vegetables without heating while it's snowing? It is the bet of market gardeners who have launched themselves with conviction into this improbable adventure. Harvesting Winter follows the daily lives of these pioneers.

“Winter isn't a hindrance, it's just an opportunity to change the way we eat,” says Jean-Martin Fortier, one of the ideators and participants who explore winter agriculture and who put some emphasis on 'before the particular richness of producing in Nordic geography.

Trailer :

3. The biggest little farm

2018 | 91min
John Chester

When documentary filmmaker John Chester, his wife Molly, and their dog Todd receive an eviction notice from their small apartment, they decide to radically change their lives. So, they purchased 80 hectares of land near Los Angeles, on which they developed a sustainable farm. They decided to film their progress, their success, their failures, over a period of 8 years. Everything is possible has left its mark by inspiring a whole generation of young agricultural producers around the world, through the implementation of a unique model, in harmony with nature, through numerous trials and errors.

4. The farm and its condition

2017 | 1h56
Marc Seguin

With numerous speakers: Jean-Martin Fortier, Dominic Lamontagne, Fernande Ouellet, Benoît Girouard

The farm and its state is a current portrait of the driving forces and aberrations in agriculture in Quebec seen through the lens of the artist and author, Marc Séguin. For eighteen months, he followed young, educated farmers (women and men) who dream of practicing responsible, innovative and ecological agriculture, in a system where they struggle to exist, while reality is changing before our eyes. The film claims this new identity and an agricultural policy that will take reality into account.

Available for rental on Vimeo:

5. In the land of the settlers

Denys Desjardins
2007 | 1 hr 17 mins

Documentary recounting a significant chapter in the history of Quebec: the development of the regions. The filmmaker revisits the heritage of Quebec cinema shot in Abitibi, following in the footsteps of Pierre Perrault. At the heart of the economic crisis of the 1930s, the government organized the transport of more than 80,000 settlers to found a new country in the virgin territories of Abitibi. However, many will leave these hard-cleared lands, seeking a better fate in the city. But from generation to generation, the Lalancette family persists in building the future on their land. Denys Desjardins follows them in their daily lives. A committed and sensitive film, in the image of this Quebec director, always on the lookout for subjects that mark our society and change it forever.

See the film here .

6. No country without farmers

Eve Lamont
2005 | 1h 29m

Feature documentary film on the harmful consequences of industrial agriculture. Agriculture is in crisis all over the planet and the film adopts the point of view of farmers from Quebec, Western Canada, Vermont (United States) and France to denounce the damage caused by agriculture industrial. A moving film that too often evokes David and Goliath, which follows, among other things, the battle of Alberta producer Percy Schmeiser with the giant Monsanto.

Watch the film by clicking here .

7. Bacon, the film

Hugo Latulippe
2001 | 1 hr 22 mins

Documentary on the social and environmental consequences of the rapid multiplication of megapig farms. Abandoned by the state, groups of citizens are raising their voices and reclaiming democracy. Unexpected grains of sand in a machine well oiled by neoliberal dogma, they demand a society on a human scale. This film by director Hugo Latulippe is a must-see. It revealed the Quebec reality of an industry that was then rather hidden, and announced an era where the importance of the origin of our food resonated throughout our society.

Watch the film on the NFB website .

8. The beef effect

Carmen Garcia
1999 | 50 mins

Documentary providing an alarming portrait of the agri-food industry. Three American giants have a stranglehold on the industry in North America. Animals are fattened in pens, where they are administered vaccines, antibiotics and growth hormones, without regard for social and environmental impacts. The film gives voice to producers fighting against the power of monopolies or looking for alternatives to the current system.

Click here to watch the film.

9. Madam, you have nothing

Dagmar Teufel
1982 | 55 mins

A wind of feminism blows across Quebec farms in this feature-length documentary, where farmers' wives want to be recognized as equal partners to their husbands, on a legal, social and financial level. Witness a fascinating foray into our past that shows the path traveled by women in the agricultural world in particular.

Listen on the National Film Board website .

10. Return to the land

Pierre Perrault
1976 | 56 mins

Feature documentary film part of the Abitibien Cycle by the great filmmaker Pierre Perrault. In this classic of Quebec cinema, he questions the past and present of Abitibi and presents, face to face, the promises of colonization in the 1930s and the great disappointment caused by the closure of the lands in the 1970s. finds witnesses of the heroic era, including the farmer Hauris Lalancette, as well as extracts from films by Abbot Maurice Proulx (1934-1940).

A leading filmmaker, Pierre Perreault is the author of an immense work, unique in our cinematography, poetic, metaphorical, philosophical, full of characters larger than life and whose themes are universal.

Listen to it right here .

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