The Fairy Creek Blockade may have gained international media attention over the past year, but conservationists, Indigenous groups, and scientists have been fighting for many years to protect the few remaining old-growth forests in British Columbia, particularly in southern Vancouver Island. (Fairy Creek is the last unprotected, intact valley on the southern Island.)
In Before They Fall, director Cam MacArthur and his team capture the recent escalation of the situation, giving audiences a taste of the standoff between land defenders, enforcement agencies, and logging companies.
“Before they Fall is honouring those who fight to protect ancient old-growth forest and an urgent call for settlers to listen to and follow Indigenous leadership,” says the film’s producer Momme Halbe. “Even though Indigenous Peoples have been disenfranchised from their land, they still hold the knowledge and connection that is needed to combat climate catastrophes that have become so frequent and severe in this province. We are amplifying the call for landback and much needed activism to combat ongoing systemic racism and violence against Indigenous Peoples, Black and other People of Colour that are continually targeted by RCMP units.”
Produced by Victoria-based Ecologyst Films, the film explores the characters’ individual relationships with ancient forests, and why it’s imperative we collectively protect them. It touches on potential solutions, like a transition away from old-growth in the future of logging, and Indigenous sovereignty.
Director Biography: Cam William MacArthur
Cam is a film director and cinematographer from Victoria who has found a niche in short conservation-based documentaries. His directorial debut about Ocean plastics, Plastic Beach, was chosen to screen at the Omnimax theatre in Science World for the Elements International Film Festival, and since then Cam has directed a number of short films that cover topics from overfishing in the Salish Sea, to preserving British Columbia’s remaining ancient forests. Cam’s next career goal is to direct and complete a feature-length documentary.
Before They Fall plays on Friday, December 3 at the Whistler Film Festival.