Nova Scotia Archives

'The Way We Were': Nova Scotia in Film, 1917-1957

Background Reading

Ernest Dick's article, 'The Way We Were: Nova Scotia in Film 1917-1957' provides a rigorous, easy-to-read introduction that will help you understand the early days of filmmaking in Nova Scotia, including how equipment and filming techniques evolved. His article suggests ways for us to explore these films today — what they are about, why they are magical, and why it's important to preserve them. An historian of sound and the moving image, Dick has been researching Nova Scotia films for 35 years, and annually teaches the Moving Images of Atlantic Canada course at Saint Mary's University in Halifax.

Darrell Varga's article 'Margaret Perry and the Nova Scotia Film Bureau' explores the production career of the province's most celebrated early filmmaker. Varga, a cultural historian, is the Canada Research Chair in Contemporary Film and Media Studies at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design; his article is especially strong in deconstructing and critiquing the social context of 'what's going on' in Perry's beautifully-crafted film creations.

'A Brief History of Film in Nova Scotia' has been lifted from Eastern Eye: A Nova Scotia Filmography, 1899-1973 (Halifax: Nova Scotia Archives , 2000) and presented here as another entry point for learning about early films and filmmaking in this province. Eastern Eye is available in its entirety elsewhere in this website resource.