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.
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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