Where the Poppies Grow: The Lakehead at War
Catalogue Number: FF0001
Producer: Franco Finn Films Inc.
Subject: Canadian History, Canadian Social Studies, Documentary, First Nations Studies, History, Indigenous Issues, Indigenous Peoples, Social Studies, World History
Grade Level: 6 - 8, 9 - 12, Post Secondary
Country Of Origin: Canada
Copyright Year: 2018
Running Time: 30
Where the Poppies Grow is a moving short docu-drama about one soldier and his community during the Great War. The film takes its name from John McRae’s poem, In Flanders Fields and includes the story of the meeting in 1921 in Port Arthur, ON, where the poppy was designated an international symbol of remembrance. Alfred Saxberg was a first generation Finnish Canadian who signed up at the beginning of the war and was fortunate to return home in 1919. The film follows Saxberg as he enlists, trains and heads off to battle in Europe. Back in the Lakehead, family and community members send assistance and encouragement as they make their own sacrifices and face their own tragedies. Alfred’s story is but one story of the war, but it is typical of the experience of many thousands of Canadian soldiers and their loved ones at home.
Shot in Thunder Bay, England and France, re-enactments and archival footage illustrate the struggles and challenges that soldiers, and their family members faced. Of particular importance is the place in history that the Lakehead plays in the designation of the poppy as an international symbol of remembrance.
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