500 Days in the Wild is a feature documentary that weaves intimate moments of reflection with adventure and stories of the people and communities that she encountered along the way.
Climate change is a silent theme unfolding in the landscapes; melting permafrost in the Arctic, salmon in the Mackenzie river, record-breaking 120°F heat and fires in the BC interior.
This journey began on July 1, 2015, in St. John’s NL and ended on August 1, 2021 in Victoria, BC. Although the Trans-Canada trail was built to celebrate 150 years of confederation under the government’s banner of “Strong, Proud and Free,” 500 Days in the Wild will present an alternate story, another vision of this country, its past and its future.
There are adventure scenes of paddling rapids, struggling in storms, escaping a bear attempting to destroy her camp in the High Arctic or the perils of being alone in a canoe on one of the biggest inland seas in the world. And there is of course humour —many good belly laughs about the absurdity of the situations she occasionally found herself in.
“It’s kind of funny when I think about it now. When I left I actually had a daily schedule—and by day 10 I had not even completed what I thought I could do in one day. So I lit a small fire and burned the schedule. And I stopped measuring my journey by how many kilometres I did in a day. I joke with people and tell them that’s the day I dropped the rabbit suit.”
CA 2023, 120 Min., engl. OV
Directed by Dianne Whelan
Written by Dianne Whelan
Produced by Betsy Carson
Starring Dianne Whelan
Cinematography Dianne Whelan
Edited by Tanya Maryniak