Distributor: Kino Lorber
Pioneers: Genre Trailblazers (Part 2)
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Director: David Hartford
1919, Canada, 74 minutes, Digital
Back to God’s Country
One of the most dynamic personalities both on and off screen in the silent era, Canadian producer and director Nell Shipman wrote and stars in this Far North-set adventure about a resourceful frontierswoman who uses her wits to survive in the Arctic while fending off menacing men. Shot through with Shipman’s reverence for nature (she was an early champion of animal rights), Back to God’s Country became the most successful Canadian film of the silent era.
“Though David Hartford is credited as the director of Back to God’s Country, the real talent behind the film was Nell Shipman, a remarkably accomplished woman who often directed, starred in, produced and also scripted her films… Shipman was an innovator in many other regards too. In an age when films were generally studio-bound, she insisted on shooting dramas like Back to God’s Country on location in the remote wilds of Idaho and Canada. And unlike the usual dictatorial, hierarchical nature of filmmaking, Shipman practiced a different philosophy in her work, and saw film as a collaborative art form.”
— Felicia Feaster, TCM
Series sponsored by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.