Filmed at a critical moment in Canadian history, Line In The Sand is a feature-length documentary which offers an intimate glimpse into the lives and futures of individuals and communities in the path of the Northern Gateway pipeline. A pipeline of unprecedented scale and ambition in Canada – proposing the transport of more than half a million barrels of crude oil per day – the Northern Gateway has been described as a “Trojan horse” for a litany of other proposed oil and gas pipelines in Western Canada, and would threaten the livelihoods and staple food sources of a huge number of individuals.
Despite years of high-profile public opposition to the project, the pipeline received approval from the Canadian federal government and is slated for immediate construction. Line In The Sand invites the viewer on a journey along the length of the pipeline’s 1,177km proposed route, from the heart of the oilsands in Bruderheim, Alberta, to the jagged coastline of Kitimat, British Columbia. Along the way, the viewer is immersed in a terrain as varied – and rugged – as the people who inhabit it.
While Line In The Sand no doubt investigates the environmental impacts of the Northern Gateway pipeline – and of oilsands expansion, more broadly – the core of the film is the human element, as told through the stories of ranchers, Grand Chiefs, pipeline workers, fishermen, and others. Highlighting the imminence and desperation perceived at the local level, this film lays bare the visceral connection felt by those who call the land home, their struggles to be heard, and the extremes to which many are willing to go to stop the pipeline’s construction.