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

Housing affordability in Northern B.C. sees slight improvements: report

Higher paying jobs mitigating effects of increased housing prices, Realtor says

Volunteers brave the rain for Earth Day clean-up

Positive Prince Rupert - Civic Pride clean-up held at the Pacific Mariners Memorial Park on Apr. 21

Prince Rupert students share portraits of kindness with children in Peru

The Memory Project gives teens a chance to sharpen their art skills and global awareness

Rupertykes descend on Pacific Mariners Memorial Park

The sun was out for the Rotary Club of Prince Rupert’s annual Easter egg hunt on Saturday, Apr. 20

Memorable quotes, moments, from Prince Rupert’s first TEDx

The city’s inaugural event was held at the Lester Centre, Apr. 19

Homeless activists outside Notre Dame demand ‘a roof too’

Wealthy people have donated millions to effort to rebuild cathedral after devastating fire

PHOTOS: Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says ‘I do’ on Earth Day

May and John Kidder got married Monday morning in Victoria

Fire forces 36 people at Vanderhoof care home to evacuate

No one was hurt after the fire at Stuart Nechako Manor

Sri Lanka invokes war-time military powers after nearly 300 killed in Easter bombings

Sri Lanka’s minister of tourism says 39 foreign tourists were killed in the Easter Sunday attacks

B.C. Interior yoga studio raises $2,500 for woman leaving abusive relationship

The 100 Mile House studio held a fundraiser yoga class and accepted donations from members to help the woman

Deadly synthetic drug found in Kamloops that puts users in ‘zombielike’ state

Interior Health warning says substance causes ‘speedy, trippy-like symptoms’ and hallucinations

Trudeau to be portrayed on ‘Simpsons’ episode

Toronto journalist who’s posted videos of himself doing impressions of the PM voiced him for the show

Elizabeth May’s wedding dress a ‘walk through a garden’ on Earth Day

Green Party leader set to get married in Victoria

Bodies of 3 mountain climbers recovered after last week’s Banff avalanche

The men disappeared while attempting to climb the east face of Howse Peak in the Icefields Parkway

Most Read