The Battle At Our Shores

Produced, written & directed by Neal Livingston, 2001

"Congratulations... I got seduced by your film. Thank you-above all for making it. And for making it so articulate, so handsome, and so effective." - Timothy Findlay (1930-2002), December 6, 2001 (world renowned Canadian author).

Stiil from The Battle At Our Shores: Jeff and Neal Livingston eating lobster

The Battle At Our Shores is a documentary following over a period of a year the ground swell of opposition that has arisen over the first inshore/coastal oil and gas exploration licenses to be given out in Canada in the Province of Nova Scotia. Most other jurisdictions have put moratoriums on inshore marine oil and gas activity. This documentary tracks this ecological and political controversy, which pits citizens groups against their governments and industry.

The Battle At Our Shores looks at citizen activism, governments that ignore democracy, and the fight against corporate globalism at a local level.

"The Battle At Our Shores discusses in a clear and sometimes comic way, the myriad issues around oil and gas exploration: conservation versus commence, royalties, the serious effects of seismic exploration on whales, and the amazing tangle of legislation which gives every political department and out on these licenses." - Elissa Barnard, The Halifax Herald - Halifax

The Battle At Our Shores: Barrington Street Protest

The set of characters in this documentary are like worlds colliding. Fisher men and women, retirees, environmental activists, recent immigrants to rural Cape Breton, whale and marine scientists, politicians, the oil and gas exploration and development businessmen, and the bureaucrats who work in the public business of licensing resource exploitation.

The Battle At Our Shores is also about the incredible wealth generating marine and coastal ecosystem that is the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence. From its whales to the billion dollar a year commercial fishing and tourism sectors, to the natural beauty of this area, which is now faced with the most fundamental change to arise since the coming of the Europeans.

" An alarming study of 48 oil and gas permits circling the provinces coastline .... Livingston felt it was time Canadians found out about the strange politics, empty job creation promises and environmental and economic risks." - Marla Cranston, The Daily News - Halifax

It is a political documentary about an environmental issue made with a dash of humour, and it is about the human spirit that drives a diverse group of citizens to win against overwhelming odds.

The Battle At Our Shores: Offshore Oil Rig

The Battle At Our Shores received it's premiere at the Atlantic Film Festival and has also been screened at the Baddeck International New Media Festival, the Telescience Festival in Montreal and the Ekotop Festival in the Solvak Republic. It was second prize at the EarthVision Festival in Santa Cruz, California. It was featured at the L'international Du Cinema De L'estrie, 2002 in Quebec and at the Eco-Cinema Festival, 2002 in Greece. It also screened on VISION TV on January 5 & 9, 2002.

"This is Livingston's best film." David Swick, The Daily News - Halifax

The Battle At Our Shores from Neal Livingston on Vimeo.