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National Film Board

The Battle of Rabaska - Chronicle of an Environmental Conflict

Magnus Isacsson & Martin Duckworth / Canada / 2008 / 79 ' / English - French


Michel Giroux
Martin Duckworth
André Chaput
Robert M. Lepage
Johanne Bergeron & Yves Bisaillon

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A doc that tells the story of citizen activists opposing a methane tanker terminal practically on their doorstep in Québec


Building large industrial plants in a community always raises questions about public consultation and democracy, but when these mega-projects involve fossil fuels, the discussion also becomes environmental. Over four years, filmmakers Magnus Isacsson and Martin Duckworth follow the battle fought by citizens against the Rabaska consortium's methane tanker terminal planned for the south shore of the St. Lawrence, opposite île d'Orléans.

While the local elites rally around the prospect of an $800 million investment, local residents fight tooth and nail to stop the project. Their main concern is safety and security, but they find allies among people concerned with protection of the cultural heritage of the area, and environmentalists opposing increases in greenhouse gas emissions.

The Battle of Rabaska is a suspense-filled tale of citizen intervention, captured in the direct cinema style with sympathy and sensitivity. While following all the twists and turns of the story, the film delivers touching portraits of the main characters. In the end it raises important questions about democracy and the role of governments and powerful lobbies.


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