HempenRoad Review / HempWorld Magazine, Summer 1998

Hemp World magazine, Mari Kane, Publisher
Summer ’98 Volume 4, Issue 1

Summer Hemp Videos by Rose Ann Fuhrman

Produced by the HempenRoad Film Project

The Hempen Road – produced, written and narrated by Dave Olson – is an earnest, down-home movie that you can “send your grandma or congressperson,” as the video jacket suggests. If your congressperson is captured by homespun sincerity, he or she might watch and learn something. But careful about giving Grandma the impression she isn’t hip; some grandmas are among our most steadfast and knowledgeable activists.

In The Hempen Road, you’ll travel the back roads and main roads of Southwest Canada and the Northwest US and be invited behind the scenes to: meet Ian Hunter — hemp store owner and mayoral candidate in BC; enter kitchens where hemp seeds are a staple; visit Odette Kalman at Ecosource Paper in Victoria; watch as hemp fiber for weaving is dipped into natural indigo dye – it comes out green and turns deep blue as the air hits it, and lots more.

Well into the video the tone becomes less folksy – more political and controversial. Dennis Peron’s statement that all marijuana use is medical is quite a departure from the laid-back ramble through the Northwest.

In a segment on the Commercial and Industrial Hemp Symposium in Vancouver, visual clips from Hemp for Victory and pertinent modern images are inserted at appropriate times to complement the information being delivered by impressive international speakers at the symposium. The speakers are engaging and the video editing is effective – when you check it out, be thinking of who you can show it to.

There’s a surprise around every bend on this trip: on-the-edge jazz backs interesting visual effects of melded images. In contrast to innovative work, there are the too fast video shots like we’ve all taken, and there’s at least one moment that is downright poetic: referring to nuclear power plants, oil rigs, and clear cuts as, “Broken promises to the land, the workers, and ourselves.”

A sense of humor extends to the credits, which declare that: “All people appearing in the film are real. Any similarity to anyone else, living or dead, is not our problem. Individual comments do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Hempenroad film project, but they might.”

Whatcha think?