Shot in 16mm by a two-man crew on the eponymously named Canadian Coast Guard Icebreaker, Pierre Radisson—Fjord and Gulf
takes us along on a contemplative journey that meanders across grandeur, nostalgia, and climate change in contemporary Canada.
Having been denied access to shoot on the CCGS Pierre Radisson throughout the Harper Government era, filmmaker Ben Donoghue and sound recordist Noé Rodriguez were the first artists permitted on board the vessel in February of 2016. In an unprecedented era of climate change, when icebreakers are diminishing in demand, the CCGS Pierre Radisson and its crew still work year round, assisting in scientific and rescue support, and escorting commercial ships to international shipping ports that have been cut off by ice.
Navigating the deep waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Saguenay Fjord in Quebec, Donoghue sets up his documentary as a series of long takes, forcing us to sit with the reality of the image. Making its North American premiere, the film methodically moves from the bow to the hull and back to the shore, taking in the majesty and mundane.