Konelīne: Our Land Beautiful

2016 • 96 minutes
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About this movie

Not a Western, but a Northern, Nettie Wild’s astonishing non-fiction film transports us to the wilderness, not as backdrop but as a vivid elemental force that dominates the experience of both the indigenous peoples and the settlers who carve out their lives there. More than 1000 miles by road from Vancouver, British Columbia, the traditional lands of the Tahltan First Nation encompass the majestic Stikine River, ancient glaciers, tiny communities and magnificent vistas. Without comment Wild watches as a helicopter painstakingly lowers a 16,000 pound transmission tower into place, another notch in the grid girding the landscape. A big-game hunter swims her 17 horses across the unforgiving Stikine. A Tahltan First Nation driller bores deep into the same territory his elders are fighting to protect. Rather than a polemic, this is a poetic film, an immersive, rhapsodic meditation on a land and its people. They include miners, hunters and the Tahltan, men and women of different cultures and mindsets, but all in the shadow of a stunning, timeless and implacable beauty. (KONELINE means “Our land beautiful” in the Tahltan tongue.)

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