Back to God Country movie, fascinating animals command human beings’ full focus while negotiating the precarious web of life. Kay Armatage’s “Back to God’s Country” (1919) review examines the protagonist’s interactions with animals in the film. David Hartford directed the 1919 drama film Back to God’s Country. The film stars Canadian actress Nell Shipman, who plays the role of Dolores LeBeau. Charles Arling acted as Blake, Wheeler Oakman played Burke, and Wellington Playter played Captain Rydal. The film stresses all living beings’ shared inherent worth and vulnerability. “Back to God’s Country” connects people and animals via stunning photography and nature’s immensity. The relationship promotes a sense of empathy and the worth of all beings. Through a vivid portrayal and a compelling narrative of the natural world, ‘Back to God’s Country’ shows that all living things, regardless of species or size, deserve unwavering respect and dignity.
In the movie, Dolores, the protagonist, exhibits a deep rapport and relationship with animals, supporting the film’s theme of respecting all life. Dolores engages actively in inter-species harmony depicting the importance of such a relationship in Shipman’s work according to Armatage (Armatage). Dolores’ essentialist femininity, nurturing, sympathetic, and aligned with nature, is accentuated. Dolores is a heroine and a strong woman who cares about nature. The film challenges gender norms and promotes animal harmony by showing Dolores’ amicable relationships with animals. It is evident when Burke states that “Yes Mseu she loves the forests and has made friends with wild things” (00:07:00-00:07:04). Dolores proves a strong bond with animals when she plays with Brownie, the bear as skunks, squirrels, raccoons, and also newborn foxes run about her. The portrayal of the human-animal relationship reinforces the film’s theme of treating all living creatures with respect and dignity. As Armitage notes, Shipman’s work emphasizes Dolores’ essentialist femininity and heroism through these animal-human interactions.
In “Back to God’s Country,” Chinaman Shan Tung’s character is portrayed as the one who cares for his dog Tao. Shan Tung loves and cares about Tao, building a deep bond. In the prologue, Shan Tung and Tao experience racism and brutality from white frontiersmen. Shan Tung’s relationship with Tao is important despite his tragic outcome. The movie highlights Tung’s connection with Tao as a crucial aspect of his character. According to the movie script, a “Chinaman named Shan Tung and with him a giant dog named Tao” (00:00:54-00:01:16). It means that Shan Tung’s care is portrayed through his behavior and interactions with the dog. Shan Tung trusts, understands and loves Tao, a wonderful mastiff in the picture. Shan Tung’s bond with Tao fits the movie’s concept of interspecies harmony. The video stresses respecting all living things and the beneficial relationship between people and animals. Through Tung and Tao, the movie showcases how a positive bond between humans can be created with animals; hence it is significant to stress the significance of treating living creatures with respect and dignity. The film may possess unappealing stereotypes and racist vocabulary, but it’s necessary to situate it within the historical era and existing sentiments. “Back to God’s Country” condemns Shan Tung and Tao’s violent conduct in fighting racial concepts despite the era’s limits. Therefore, the movie emphasizes the importance of human-animal interactions via Shan Tung’s caring for his dog Tao.
In “Back to God’s Country,” Peter Durke’s activities and encounters with animals show his strong connection to nature. Durke’s care for animals is seen throughout the video. Peter Durke addresses his dog with love and affection. “Want your supper, Cubby?” (00:11:00–00:11:03), expressing real compassion for the animal. Feeding his pet shows Durke’s care. He is very attentive and responsible towards his animal companion. Durke extends his care not only to domestic animals but also wildlife. Durke treats animals respectfully in the Canadian wilderness. Nell Shipman’s videos emphasize interspecies harmony. Durke’s contacts with wild animals show he understands and respects their needs and behaviors. Durke finds a wounded bird while on a journey. He treats its wounds and nurses them instead of abandoning them. Durke’s eagerness to help all animals, regardless of their species, proves his care. Durke’s activities also show his dedication to animal protection. He rescues animals in danger. Durke intervenes when Blake mistreats Wapi, the Great Dane. He was bold and determined to protect animals. Peter Durke loves animals both physically and emotionally. He empathizes with their needs, showing a special affinity beyond human-animal interactions. In conclusion, Peter Durke’s caring, protective, and sincere concern for animals in “Back to God’s Country” is shown. His relationships with tame and wild animals show his sensitivity, compassion, and connection to nature. Durke embodies Nell Shipman’s concept of a protagonist who gets along with animals, highlighting the necessity of respecting and caring for all species.
“Back to God’s Country” is an outstanding film that promotes equality for all living things. The movie teaches empathy and emphasizes all creatures’ inherent value and vulnerability via its fascinating tale and breathtaking natural landscape. Dolores LeBeau, the heroine, challenges gender stereotypes and promotes animal harmony through her close contact with animals. Her maternal and compassionate personality, connected with nature, is emphasized, and her friendly interactions with various animals demonstrate the need for inter-species collaboration. Chinaman Shan Tung’s bond with his dog, Tao, emphasizes the well-being of animals. Shan Tung’s relationship with Tao shows the beneficial relationship between people and animals despite white frontiersmen’s racism and cruelty. Through his character, the film explores appreciating all living beings and the mutually beneficial interaction between humans and animals. Peter Durke’s animal encounters illustrate the film’s topic. Durke cares for wildlife and pets. He loves his dog and helps wounded and endangered animals, showing compassion and responsibility. Durke’s activities show respect for all species’ needs and habits. “Back to God’s Country” eloquently promotes equality for all living things by depicting human-animal relationships. The video emphasizes empathy, compassion, and appropriate care for all creatures, regardless of size or species. The video encourages viewers to appreciate nature’s beauty and fragility by emphasizing life’s interdependence and significance. “Back to God’s Country” reminds us to treat animals respectfully in a culture that exploits and mistreats them.
Armatage, Kay. “BacktoGod’sCountry.” The Moving Picture World, 24 July 1920, https://canvas.alexandercollege.ca/courses/4146/files/1654976?module_item_id=301725.
BacktoGod’sCountry. Directed by Kay Armature, 24 July 1920, https://www.kanopy.com/en/alexandercollege/signup/auth/university?destination=%2Falexandercollege%2Fproduct%2F11557278.