Haida Gwaii – Hadwinʼs Judgement is a spellbinding and visually stunning account of environmentalism, obsession, and myth set in the Pacific Northwest. It chronicles one man’s resolute struggle to reconcile what he regarded as an intolerable and conspiratorial affront—not just to the land, but to humanity as well.
Inspired by John Vaillant’s award-winning book The Golden Spruce, the film covers the events that led up to the infamous destruction of an extraordinary 300-year-old tree that held sacred by the indigenous Haida nation of Haida Gwaii, British Columbia.
Grant Hadwin, a logging engineer and formidable survivalist, lived and worked happily for many years in BCʼs remote and ancient forests. But witnessing the devastation wrought by clear-cutting finally drove him to commit what some would say was an extraordinary and perverse act, one that ran contrary to all he had come to value.
A compelling hybrid of drama and documentary, Hadwinʼs Judgement interweaves speculation, myth and reality to explore the possible motives for Hadwin’s unprecedented crime and the consequences of his actions.
The film charts his emotional crusade against the destruction of the world’s last great temperate rainforest, a crusade that ends tragically with a mystery—and a prophetic warning—that seals Hadwin’s fate as both madman and visionary.
See the trailer:
Hadwin’s Judgement by Sasha Snow, National Film Board of Canada