Power

on January 31, 1986 by Craig Vickers
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   In 1989, the Quebec provincial government announced plans to proceed with James Bay Phase II, a massive hydroelectric project that would dam waterways, including the Great Whale River. After James Bay I was built in the '70s, the region's Cree Indians found that their water had become poisoned with mercury.
   In "Power," veteran Canadian filmmaker Magnus Isaacson documents the Cree's successful battle against the Quebec government. He follows their journey by Odeyak--part canoe, part kayak--down the Ottawa, St. Lawrence and Hudson rivers as they stop at strategic points to plead their cause and enlist the support of key American politicians and the general public.
   Isaacson presents the complex politics of contemporary Quebec in comprehensive and easy-to-follow fashion. However, he is clearly on the side of the Cree, and as a result the film lacks objectivity. At the same time, it's a heartening story that proves that perhaps one can fight city hall. Directed by Magnus Isaacson. Written by Glen Salzman and Magnus Isaacson. Produced by Glen Salzman. A Cineflix production; no distributor set. Documentary. Not yet rated. Running time: 80 min.
Tags: Magnus Isaacson, Glen Salzman, Cineflix, project, dam waterways, Great Whale River, 1970s, politicians
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