Almost 100 people came to the screening for Before they Fall on February 23. It was a wonderful turnout for a film that documented the protests to protect the old growth ancient forests at Fairy Creek. Our press release and Panel Discussion video are below.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Fairy Creek Old Growth Demonstrations Were No Fairy Tale
Peachland BC: The evening of February 23 was a remarkable night in Peachland. A “sold out” attendance of over 90 people attended a screening of acclaimed documentary about the Fairy Creek old growth demonstrations, Before They Fall, sponsored by the Peachland Watershed Protection Alliance (PWPA).
The topic was ancient BC forests, and focussed on the Fairy Creek protests against logging this last unprotected, intact valley on southern Vancouver Island, on unceded Pacheedaht Territory. Individuals from the ancestral homelands of the Ma’amtagila, Pacheedaht, Ditidaht, Songhees and Esquimalt Peoples spoke of their identification with ancient forests and how their cultures are at one with the land.
Ravaged landscapes following clearcuts were interspersed with scenes of lush west coast rainforests. The compelling clip of an indigenous elder confronting a flank of grim RCMP officers clearly captures the depth of the conflict. Peachland resident and PWPA member Judy Wyper says “What I found so captivating was the elder’s patient determination and deliberate choice of wording.” The film also depicts the protests at the BC legislature, speeches on the steps, people marching and drumming through the forest, others being dragged away by police, often with stunning brutality.
TJ Watt, Dr. Suzanne Simard, Rande Cook, Rainbow Eyes, and Land Defenders at Fairy Creek are featured, and each gives dimension to the issues of protection of the land, the need to preserve ancient ecosystems and biodiversity, and the cultural value of these places. The film was produced by Ecologyst, an independent film production company based in Victoria, BC.
After the film there was a question and answer panel with guests Cori Derrickson (Syilx Environmentalist, Artist), Genevieve Daniel (Old Growth Okanagan), Dave Gill ( Forestry Manager, Ntityx Resources, WFN), with Peachland Watershed Protection Alliance’s Taryn Skalbania as Moderator.
PWPA has also obtained film rights to The Memory of Fish, an award-winning documentary of one man, the wild salmon he loves, and his fight to free a river. The public is invited to attend the screening on March 23 from 7:00 – 9:00 pm at the Peachland 50+ Centre, 5672 Beach Ave, Peachland, Doors at 6:30, admission by donation. peachlandwpa.org