Seeking the Current
DirectorsNicolas Boisclair Alexis de Gheldere
ProducersFilms du Rapide-Blanc Denis McCready
- Release Date 2011
- Running Time 86 minutes
- Closed Captions No
- Availability Canada, USA
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Seeking the Current investigates and questions plans by Hydro-Québec to dam one of the few remaining wild rivers in Québec, the 500 km Romaine River that empties into the St Lawrence. The project has been presented to the public as making sound economic sense, one that will enable Québec to export electricity to the United States.
Yet as the team of filmmakers explore the reasoning behind this project, claims made emerge as theories full of holes. An economist at l’Université Laval points out that the cost of this project will outweigh any revenue it can generate and that it will be left to taxpayers to pick up the loss. As they canoe down this spectacular river, accompanied by Roy Dupuis of the Rivers Foundation, the filmmakers meet with a number of other entrepreneurs engaged in more sustainable practices of clean energy such as solar energy, biomass, biogas, energy efficiency, wind and geothermal power–all are thoroughly examined in terms of cost, applicability, and efficiency.
This documentary was released just before investigation started into corruption in the construction industry in Québec, and it poses some interesting questions about what is really driving this project. The opening quote in the film, taken from Premier Jean Charest’s 1998 autobiography, probably states it best: “One must never underestimate the capacity of governments to be wrong.”
In French and English with English subtitles
Intitulé Chercher le courant, ce film est également disponible en anglais
À l’été 2008, à un an du début d’un chantier hydroélectrique de 8 milliards de dollars prévu par Hydro-Québec, Alexis de Gheldere et Nicolas Boisclair décident de parcourir la rivière Romaine en canot avec deux environnementalistes... un « river trip » de 500 km qui les amènera de sa source au Labrador à son embouchure dans le Golfe du Saint-Laurent.
Flanqués d’un poêle à bois innu, de deux panneaux solaires et d’une étude d’impact de 2500 pages, ils découvrent la rivière et ses affluents et les impacts prochains du projet hydroélectrique de Hydro-Québec. Kilomètre par kilomètre, ils ouvrent grands leurs yeux sur cet écosystème spectaculaire et encore sauvage. Durant cette expédition de 46 jours, ils archivent pour les générations futures les images d’un coin de pays d’une remarquable beauté.
Cette aventure se déroule en parallèle à une autre quête impliquant à la fois Roy Dupuis et les deux aventuriers. Ensemble, ils partent explorer la manière de produire et de consommer de l’énergie dans le Québec du XXIe siècle. Les questions suscitées par l’expédition les amènent à consulter des experts et des gens de terrain qui nous révèlent d’étonnantes surprises sur les énergies vertes et leur développement actuel au Québec, suggérant qu’il y a des occasions d’affaires importantes dans ce domaine, et ce pour des générations à venir.
Les énergies vertes tiennent-elles la route ? Quel est le potentiel des énergies renouvelables au Québec ? Quelles surprises attendent nos comptes d’électricité dans un avenir proche? 48 ans après l’élection qui mènera à la nationalisation de l’électricité au Québec, sommes-nous toujours Maîtres chez-nous?
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