Back to God’s Country

Canada | 1919 | 73 min | NR

A woman finds herself all alone in a remote harbor with the man responsible for the murder of her father. With seemingly nobody around to protect her, she has to be resourceful.


Nell Shipman was the original wonder woman. A trailblazer of the silent era, she was one of the first women producers—a champion for animals and an unparalleled trainer of wildlife. Canadian-born, she was the first national producer, putting her name behind Canada’s first super-production, the wildly successful BACK TO GOD’S COUNTRY, partially filmed in Alberta and one of our country’s most lucrative and profound exports. 100 years after its release, BACK TO GOD’S COUNTRY—based on James Oliver Curwood’s celebrated short story Wapi the Walrus—continues to entertain, enliven and thrill!

Shipman plays Dolores LeBeau, a resident of the Canadian wilds. Dedicated to her animal friends (including an adorable bear cub), Dolores is a virtuous, spunky trailblazer—not afraid to skinny-dip in one of the silent era’s earliest nude scenes. After a renegade disguised as a Mountie kills her father in an attempt to possess the married Dolores, she must rescue her husband from the perils of an evil whaling ship. The film’s dog-sled chase offers one of the era’s most impressive and thrilling climaxes.

To see BACK TO GOD’S COUNTRY 100 years after its release is a matter of national pride. Shipman deserves to be celebrated as one of Canada’s most influential exports—a pioneering writer and producer, her indelible mark of the history of film demands international recognition.


Director: David Hartford
Cast: Nell Shipman, Charles Arling, Wheeler Oakman


Presentation format: Digital restoration courtesy Library and Archives Canada

Live accompaniment by Marilyn Lerner, plus Q&A with Silent Revue curator Alicia Fletcher and Lerner

*Please note that since this Revue Film Society event is free, it is our policy to overbook to ensure capacity. We will begin releasing unclaimed seats to the rush line 10 minutes before the start of the event. In case of a full house, your reservation may not guarantee admission. We recommend you arrive early!


FREE! Tickets must be reserved in advance.