NFB Launches English-language Version of Les Aboiteaux, the First Acadian Film


by Ronald Rudin

In 1955 the Office national du film released Les Aboiteaux, the first film produced with an original Acadian script. But quite aside from this distinction, the film — directed by Léonard Forest at the start of his important career as an Acadian filmmaker — told a fascinating story about both the environment and Acadian society. It focuses on the challenges for one Acadian community in southeastern New Brunswick, whose farmers (much like their pre-deportation forebears) were working land that had been made cultivable by means of a system of dikes and aboiteaux that drained the marshland and protected the farmland from the tides of the Bay of Fundy.

aboiteaux Image 1 Les aboiteaux ©1955 National Film Board of Canada. All rights reserved. Collection : Cinémathèque québécoise

Across the region — in both Nova Scotia and New Brunswick — the protective structures had fallen into disrepair by the 1940s, leading…

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