Distributor:  Bullfrog Films
Length:  54 minutes
Date:  2006
Genre:  Expository
Language:  English
Grade level: 7-12, College, Adult
Color/BW:  Color
You must register and login to preview and purchase items.

Being Caribou

New to Docuseek? Please register and login to preview and/or license this film. If your institution has already licensed this film, you will need to access this page from your institution's network to watch the film. For help on using Docuseek2, please visit our help wiki.

A filmmaker and biologist follow the Porcupine Caribou Herd from central Yukon to the herd's calving grounds in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Being Caribou

Hoping to raise awareness of the threat to the survival of the Porcupine Caribou Herd presented by the proposed exploitation of the oil and gas reserves in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the husband-and-wife-team of filmmaker Leanne Allison and wildlife biologist Karsten Heuer, follow the herd of 120,000 caribou on foot, across 1,500 kilometers of rugged Arctic tundra.

They let the caribou guide them through a wild and remote landscape, from Old Crow, Yukon, to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge -- the herd's calving grounds -- and back. During the five-month journey, they ski and hike across mountains, swim icy rivers, brave Arctic weather and endure hordes of mosquitoes. They survive an encounter with a hungry grizzly bear that forces them to reconcile what it means to be a part of true wilderness. Dramatic footage and video diaries provide an intimate perspective of an epic expedition.

This film presents undeniable evidence that gives the lie to then Sen. Frank Murkowski's (R-Alaska) disgenuous description of the Refuge as 'flat, unattractive, not pristine' as he held up a piece of blank white foam board. Watching the caribou migrate suggests a more appropriate analogy. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is America's Serengeti.

'This is a heartfelt and inspiring northern adventure which succeeds at revealing the powerful beauty and sacredness of the caribou and their habitat.' FamilyEducation.com

'A stunning documentary about precisely what drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge would destroy, and, hopefully, it will close the debate forever.' MaryAnn Johanson, FlickFilosopher.com

'Recommended for public and school libraries.' CM Magazine, University of Manitoba

'Captivating from start to finish...breathtaking views of both scenery and wildlife...Truly a respectful glimpse into wildness largely unseen by human eyes. Anyone who has heard of or read about the issues surrounding the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge should view this film.' Omaha Independent Media Center

'This is a film of beauty and courage.' Heron Dance

'A riveting look at the epic migration of tens of thousands of caribou, across equally epic, ruggedly beautiful terrain.' Portland Tribune

'This multi-award winning, poignant documentary will leave few people untouched.' School Library Journal

'Being Caribou is about birth, death and survival... It is a 'must see' for all those who are in favor of destroying a pristine natural environment along with all life forms in it, to gain a few barrels of oil. Highly recommended for high school, college and public library collections.' Geetha Yapa, Educational Media Reviews Online

'Beautiful, thought-provoking...Being Caribou is highly recommended.' Video Librarian, Editor's Choice


Best Environment and Conservation Film, Japan Wildlife Film Festival
Best Documentary Program or Series and Best Overall Sound, Leo Awards
Best Environmental Film, MountainFilm, Telluride
Grand Prize, Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival
Jury Award, Flagstaff Mountain Film Festival
Audience Award, Victoria Independent Film and Video Festival
People's Choice Award, Calgary International Film Festival
Federal Express Award for Most Popular Canadian Film, Vancouver International Film Festival
People's Choice Award, Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival
Best Nature Film, International Nature and Environmental (PINE) Film Festival
Best Environmental Film, Kendal Mountain Film Festival, Germany
Best 'Earth' Film, International Festival of Mountain Film and Adventure, Bratislava, Slovakia
Merit Award, International Wildlife Film Festival, Missoula
Honorable Mention, EarthVision Film and Video Festival
Seattle International Film Festival
Anchorage International Film Festival
Arctic Film Festival


Main credits

Allison, Leanne (film director)
Allison, Leanne (screenwriter)
Allison, Leanne (cinematographer)
Wilson, Diana (film director)
Wilson, Diana (screenwriter)
Friesen, Tracey (film producer)

Other credits

Editor, Janice Brown; cinematographer, Leanne Allison; composer, Dennis Burke.

Distributor credits

Tracey Friesen

Leanne Allison and Diana Wilson

Tracey Friesen
Leanne Allison and Diana Wilson
Filmography: Leanne Allison
Editor: Janice Brown
Executive Producer: Rina Fraticelli
A National Film Board of Canada Production

Docuseek2 subjects

Nuclear Issues
The Northwest
Animal Behavior
Environmental Health
Environmental Geography
Habitat Destruction
Bioregions and Habitat
Environmental Anthropology

Distributor subjects

Animal Behavior/Communication
Animal Rights
Arctic Studies
Canadian Studies
Earth Science
Environmental Ethics
Life Science
Oceans and Coasts
Science, Technology, Society


porcupine caribou herd, Yukon, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, ANWR, Leanne Allison, Karsten Heuer, Arctic tundra, mosquitoes, grizzly bear, Frank Murkowsk, Serengeti; "Being Caribou"; Bullfrog Films

Welcome to Docuseek2!

Docuseek2 is a streaming platform of the best documentary and social issue films available for the higher education community.

Anyone may search for titles and find detailed information about the titles. To preview films or license them for streaming, you must register and login.

Currently, we support online registration for anyone affiliated with a higher education institution. Please inquire if you are with a K-12 district or school or with a public library.

Click the Close button to get started!