Hadwin’s Judgment is a classic story of a man versus his own mind and the ethics of others. The simple yet sad tale pivots around the inner struggle of Grant Hadwin, an infamous logger driven to radicalism. Hadwin’s job was to examine raw forests and determine the most efficient way to extract the wood. He saw the woods as nature intended, before roads, before clear cuts and before loaded logging trucks. Witnessing the onslaught of logging and the scars it left behind on the once-pristine landscapes altered Hadwin, who started writing poignant letters to showcase the problem. When he felt like no one was listening, Hadwin made a decision about one of the most beloved trees in Haida culture and folklore and ultimately became a part of the myth.

If this story sounds familiar, it may be because author John Vaillant made the story famous with his 2007 award-winning book, The Golden Spruce. Filmmaker Sasha Snow collaborated with Vaillant on the film for seven years, which culminated in a documentary that meshes real-life interviews with recreated scenes using actor and stuntman Doug Chapman as Hadwin. The stunning cinematography and questions raised by the film about the foresty industry leave as big an imprint as the same industry leaves in the forests.

Check out the film’s website HERE.

—Leah Scheitel

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