Magdalen magnified

Donna Davies' new documentary owes its origins to moonshine.

Halifax based filmmaker Donna Davies' new documentary on CBC-TV's Land and Sea wouldn't have been possible without some moonshine. Not necessarily the ingestion of it, but interviews from a previous documentary involving the trade on her native PEI. A search for interview subjects brought her to the town of Souris and its ferry port to the Magdalen Islands, five hours off the coast, under Quebec jurisdiction.

Recent years have shown a surge in population in the remote area. "A lot of people were going away to places like Montreal or Toronto, but the quality of life was so great on the Magdalen Islands that they decided to come back," says Davies.

The Magdalen Islands film, which airs Sunday, December 5 at noon, focuses on how this tight-knit community continues to not only survive, but prosper with what they have. "Talk about resilient people with ingenuity!" exudes Davies. The documentary aims not to promote tourism, but to educate its maritime audience to see how small communities can be sustainable with what they have. Davies says, "I think there is a lot to learn from isolated people in a small area who have a certain amount of materials, are sustainable, and aware of the environment that they're in."

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