Victoria, BC – Nov 21, 25
(purchase tickets here)
The Rio – Nov 21
Kay Meek Arts Centre – Nov 23
Shuswap Film Society
Salmon Arm, BC – Nov.25
Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema
Toronto, Ontario – Starts Nov 19
Suzanne Crocker’s First We Eat is an amazing lengthy documentary about truly supporting local farmers and living off the land instead of living off the grid–especially in the harsh climate of Dawson City, Yukon. Not everyone can do both; it really depends on how far detached a family unit (or any community) is from various advances in technology.
Crocker’s family wasn’t convinced at the start. Gerard, daughters Kate and Tess, and son Sam weren’t very enthusiastic and their attitudes changed as this look of their lives played out.
The focus on how far this documentarian can go with getting her kin involved for a year sometimes wanders, and that’s okay. Survival means seeing them foraging for food and hunting for game. Showing how much time and effort is involved is important. Undocumented is if the kids are home schooled and what they do for recreation. Instead of television, the internet, and video games, we see more family bonding with outdoor sports and perhaps board/card games. It helps paint how the family stayed together.
Ultimately, the success comes from how they—and the local community—support each other. The younger children were more brave than grossed out at slicing up a moose. Since this family had no knowledge in how to start, they had a vast network of neighbours, friends and the local indigenous tribe—the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation—to teach them the ropes.
However, to learn means experimenting and experiencing how to live sustainably yourself. It also doesn’t mean moving to this arctic town either. With a pandemic and not everyone willing to go out for the bare necessities, especially the immunocompromised, having your own ecosystem to stay alive is even more important. Even afterwards, when a vaccine is available, whether anyone wants to stay with this lifestyle depends on a lot of factors which this film modestly examines. Suzanne said it best, “The good news is that, if you can produce food in the Yukon, there’s no excuse almost anywhere else.”
4 Blokes out of 5