54 Hours

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  • Director: Bruce Alcock & Paton Francis
  • Producer: Annette Clarke, Michael Fukushima
  • Production Company: National Film Board of Canada

This short animation is a remarkably vivid account of the 1914 tragedy in which 132 men were stranded on the ice during a severe snowstorm off the coast of Newfoundland. 78 men froze to death on the pack ice. In the spring of 1914, the last of the wooden seal hunting ships in a steel-dominated industry was the Newfoundland, manned by men from across the province. The ship was unable to reach a seal pack due to its lack of ice-breaking power, and 132 men were ordered off the boat and onto the ice to hunt. The ship had no radio equipment, and the men spent two unbearable nights on the ice. Survivor testimony, striking archival materials, weather visualizations, inventive animation and puppetry are seamlessly blended to recreate this harrowing ordeal.

 

 

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