In 1978, a long-buried stash of hundreds of silent movies and newsreels was discovered in Dawson City, Canada, deep in the Yukon Territory. From this mass of footage, much of it damaged and all of it fascinating, Bill Morrison has fashioned a poetic documentary that traces the history of the gold mining town from its earlier origins with First Nation peoples to the advent of the gold rush in 1896 up through roughly contemporary times.
[Editor's note: The original version of this review misstated the location of Dawson City.]
The rise and fall of Dawson City, intimately tied to the vagaries of climate and man’s greed, is heartbreakingly rendered. Grade: A- (This movie is not rated.)