Clean water, essential to all forms of life, is becoming increasingly rare. Like deforestation, the loss of clean water is a global tragedy. Following the international success of The Man Who Planted Trees, which won an Oscar® and led to the planting of millions of trees, Frédéric Back decided to create a film about the St. Lawrence River. ‘Magtogoek,’ as it is called by the Mi’kmaq people, originates in the Great Lakes, follows a long course through Ontario and Quebec, and then drains into the Atlantic. Its waters, which once teemed with animal and plant life, today bear witness to decades of over-exploitation and industrial pollution. Alas, all the rivers of the world are suffering the same fate!
In undertaking this last major animation project, the activist filmmaker was driven by the hope that the film’s wealth of astonishing information on the St. Lawrence River and its glorious past would raise awareness and inspire concrete actions to save this and other much-degraded natural resources.
Frédéric Back, OC CQ (born April 8, 1924) is a Canadian artist and film director of short animated films.
Born in Saarbrücken, The Territory of the Saar Basin, he emigrated to Canada in 1948. He began teaching at the École des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, then in 1952, he joined the graphics department of Radio-Canada and has remained there since.
He created a massive stained glass mural entitled L’histoire de la musique à Montréal (“history of music in Montreal”) at the Place-des-Arts Metro station in Montreal. Unveiled on December 20, 1967, this stained glass was the first work of art to be commissioned for the Montreal metro system.
He was nominated for a 1989 Governor General’s Awards in the Children’s Literature – Illustration category for L’Homme qui plantait des arbres. In 1989, he was made a Knight of the National Order of Quebec. In 1990, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. In 2004, he was awarded the Eco-Hero Media Award from the Planet in Focus… read more
Frédéric Back is an important artist, his works are beautiful and enlightening. "They have no more rights then the animals, they are brothers." That is the "Savages" ethic. The spectacular film blatantly shows that nature doesn't survive megalomania, self-importance or the wrongness of our souls and morals. Like the despoliation of the river, our cities are cesspools of the same ravaging.