Blaine Allan

Professor Emeritus

People Directory Affiliation Category

Research interests:

My recent research has also resulted in a series of three articles on a 1939 film, Heritage, produced by the Canadian Government Motion Picture Bureau and released around the time John Grierson was writing his report on Canadian government film activity. The film, made for the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration, outlines a history of wheat farming on the prairies up to the 1930s, and describes the government programs intended to combat the drought and institute improved farming practices. It's a lot more interesting than it sounds. Really. But the history of the film's production, its relations to Pare Lorentz's much better known film, The Plow That Broke the Plains, and its role in the transformation of government filmmaking during the early years of the National Film Board offer even more to chew on. "Making Heritage, A Canadian Government Motion Picture," is destined to appear in an anthology on "Canada's Unknown Cinemas," edited by Christopher Faulkner and William O'Farrell. "Canada's Heritage (1939) and America's The Plow That Broke the Plains (1939) can be found in the Historical Journal of Film, Radio, and Television ( 19.4 (1999): 439-72, and "A National 'As Distinct from Departmental' Film Board, and the Case of Heritage" in the Canadian Journal of Film and Media ( 9.1 (Spring 2000): 30-54.