Everyday Activist - The Super Salmon (BMBFF 2016)

Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 at 10:30 AM

The Super Salmon (BMBFF 2016)

Movie Review by Everyday Activist X CalgaryMovies.com

The Super Salmon had all the elements to make a fantastic documentary with beautiful scenery, lively characters, a controversial topic, and of course an unlikely hero to guide us through the issue. It won a special jury mention at the 2016 Banff Mountain Film Festival. While the movie was filmed in Alaska, building hydroelectric dams is a timely issue for western Canadians as Site C dam continues to be debated. As one woman commented in the film, billions of dollars that would go to the dam would be better spent on education. A young person might be able to come up with a viable solution to the energy generation question. Because these projects are massive and expensive, decades go by and what might have been viable thirty years ago is now outdated by new technologies.

For those who watched “DamNation” in Banff a couple years ago and saw Yvon Chouinard speak, you would be correct to assume Patagonia funded part Super Salmon. If you didn’t watch DamNation, it’s still on Netflix. Yvon Chouinard commented in the September 19th, 2016 issue of the New Yorker, “In Alaska, on the Susitna River. We gave a grant of twenty-five thousand dollars to a filmmaker who was making a film called ‘SuperSalmon.’ The film comes out, the guy shows it around, and the governor, just like that, he kills the dam. You don’t get many clear-cut victories like that. But sometimes all it takes is one person.”

This is the power of documentary film, though I would argue that it was a collective effort. The director hit the jackpot with Mike Wood as he passionately narrates The Super Salmon’s journey. Mike points out that people in the lower 48 are busy blowing up dams. At one point he emotionally describes the attacks on the river as watching “your best friend die of cancer”. The other characters in the film supported the focus of the story to keep the river alive, going back over thirty years, including generations of the same family navigating the Susitna River.

In the North, people have a different appreciation for nature. I’m glad director, Ryan Peterson, included time lapse photography and visually demonstrated how important the river ecosystems are to all kinds of creatures not just salmon. Super Salmon will be on the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour 2016/17 #1 & #2 circuit coming to Calgary at the end of January on the Red Program or you can watch it online via Vimeo below. Maybe seeing what can be done in Alaska, more people will oppose Site C.

Calgary Showtimes: The Super Salmon >


NOTE: The showtimes listed on CalgaryMovies.com come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to CalgaryMovies.com.