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By Their Own Strength

Year: 1940
Runtime: 33 min
Director: Evelyn Cherry
Producer: Lawrence Cherry, Evelyn Cherry
Writer: Evelyn Cherry
Cinematographer: Lawrence Cherry
Editor: Evelyn Cherry
Production Company: Saskatchewan Wheat Pool
Evelyn Cherry (nee Spice), who had previously worked with the British documentarists, completed this notable early film of social protest in the same year she made the comparable New Horizons. Using a dramatized documentary approach, By Their Own Strength depicts the farmers’ protests against being exploited by the grain buyers and middlemen. It also conveys the growth of the co-operative movement on the Prairies from the turn of the century through to the establishment of the early Grain Growers’ Grain Company and the development of the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool. Despite a rather excessive use of titles to convey information, this is a powerful film that, as Ernst Borneman has noted, “played a considerable role in the battle for the establishment of cooperative marketing in the Prairies.”

By: Peter Morris

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