Dawson City: Frozen Time (Morrison, USA) 2016

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Viewed as part of Prof. Albright’s Film Studies 104, “American Cinema up to the 1960’s.”

Directed/Written/Photographed and Edited by Bill Morrison, Dawson City: Frozen Time weaves a narrative of a highly unique period in the history of human civilization.

It’s a story of a Canadian gold rush town at the confluence of the Klondike and Yukon Rivers, approximately 175 miles south of the Arctic Circle. The area had been an important hunting and fishing camp for a nomadic First Nation tribe known as Tr’ondek Hwech’in.

Utilizing a treasure trove of 533 reels of film (dating from the 1910’s and 1920’s (seemingly lost until being discovered buried in an abandoned sub-artic swimming pool) newsreels, archival photographs and modern day and interviews, Morrison uncovers a magical and mythical trail of settlers, gold mining prospectors in search of gold and prosperity and the end of a Hollywood film distribution line in the Canadian Yukon.

The perma-frost preserved films are now housed at the US Library of Congress and in the Canadian Archives in Ottawa. Jointly, the Library of Congress and the Canadian National Archives restored all the titles to 35mm preservation masters.

Dawson City: Frozen Time is highly recommended and a must-see for any film historian!

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