A Land as Green as the Sea is an adaptation of an old Scottish emigrant's song, with its dream of a new world. It aptly describes the rolling parkland and prairie that Gertrude Hogg saw from the train window when she came West in 1905 - the year Alberta became a province.
Gertrude Hogg was filmmaker Tom Radford's grandmother. This is the story of Radford's ancestors, who fled Scotland, settling briefly in Brantford, Ontario and then moved to Edmonton to establish the first community newspaper at the turn of the century. The Edmonton Journal, the paper Radford's grandfather become editor of was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for confronting the Alberta government in 1936 over the notorious Press Bill.
For the boy who grew up in a renovated garage behind his grandparents' house, the stories they used to tell - about the family's origins, fortunes won and lost in the new world, stories of immigration to a country and within a country - fired his imagination. Though his grandparents died in the 1960s, Radford continues to piece together the fragments of memory, separating fact from fiction, sifting through the boxes of old photographs and letters, and listening to favourite 78 rpm records. These discoveries led him to the gaelic roots of Cowboy Music.
Tom Radford is one of Canada's most distinguished documentarians. He has made over fifty films including the award-winning Hockey Night in Harlem, In Search of the Dragon, Life After Hockey and Earnest Brown: Pioneer Photographer. He has been producing/directing and writing documentary films in Western Canada for 25 years, founding one of the first independent production companies in Edmonton, and being the first Executive Producer of the National Film Board Prairie Production Studio.
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