Koneline documentary aims to challenge stereotypes

Wild Productions' recent documentary challenges stereotypes about who in northwest B.C. supports and opposes development.

Workers steer a power line transmission tower

For many people, B.C. Hydro’s $716 million Northwest Transmission Line was just the ticket needed to provide work and boost the local economy in the early part of this decade.

Beginning at the BC Hydro Skeena Substation just south of Terrace, the transmission line now runs 344 kilometres north, providing the power for one mine so far, the Red Chris copper and gold mine. It also feeds power from three run of the river projects into the provincial grid.

But the line also cuts through traditional First Nations territory, drawing worries and criticism from members among those First Nations who also benefited first from the line’s construction and now from the industries it services.

It’s that kind of contradiction which makes the Northwest Transmission Line one of the central features of Canadian documentary filmmaker Nettie Wild’s latest production known as Koneline (Tahltan for “our land beautiful”).

Released earlier this year and coming to various locations in the northwest now, Koneline has already won several awards.

Known for documentaries which bring a strong message, Nettie Wild has been in the northwest before.

She produced Blockade in 1993, the story of Gitxsan protests surrounding land claims in the Hazeltons, and this time Wild says she wants people’s stereotypes of who is against development and who is in favour to be challenged simply by the images in Koneline.

“I wanted to chisel through the rhetoric that’s happening around development,” says Wild.

Using the latest film-making technology, Wild’s chisel is her camera, which takes in the wilderness as well as human events such as a Tahltan stick game, skinning a moose, workers struggling to place a massive power line tower as it dangles  from a helicopter, and a Tahltan blockade of the then-under construction Red Chris mine. That latter sequence includes an appearance at the blockade by provincial energy minister Bill Bennett.

There’s very little talking in Koneline and Wild calls it a form of “visual poetry.”

“The number one response so far is ‘thank you for telling us what not to think’,” says Wild of the reaction at Koneline’s showings.

Wild credits the willingness of First Nations people and of people working within industry to give her access to their lives in shaping Koneline as a documentary portraying the many issues surrounding development.

“My goal was how to take people past their assumptions,” said Wild.

“How can I surprise you and move you?”

Koneline is 96 minutes in length and shows in Terrace on Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. at the Tillicum Twin Theatre. Co-presenters are Friends of Wild Salmon and the Skeena-Nass Centre for Innovation in Resource Economics. In Hazelton at Gitanmaax Tri Town Theatre, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m.

Just Posted

Captain, all-star, MVP, and all about the team

Brittanne O’Connor’s drive to create Prince Rupert’s own women’s team has led to success and inspiration

VIDEO: Kaien Anti-Poverty Society hoping to raise $20K in 50/50 community bingo nights

KAPS is looking to raise money for a new vehicle to support their growing food program

Snickers and Superheroes at Udderfest

Fantasy and frivolity the Friday festival offerings

Rupert Lawn and Garden awards build contract for new site to Prince Rupert firm

Garden centre also set to announce temporary location while construction takes place

Esthetically pleasing program coming to Prince Rupert

Coast Mountain College is rolling out a new esthetics program in November

Heart of Our City: Kaps off to Colleen Hermanson

Colleen Hermanson began working in social services as early as 1968

The Northern View announces inaugural Tyee Fishing Derby in Prince Rupert

More than $7,000 up for grabs for biggest legal salmon and halibut

The Northern View 2019 Readers Choice

It’s that time of year again! Vote online or at the Prince Rupert office before noon on Aug. 30

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

RCMP, search crews hunt for 4-year-old boy missing near Mackenzie

George went missing early Saturday afternoon

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Most Read