Hadwin’s Judgement


From the Canadian producer of the cult classic IT'S ALL GONE PETE TONG (one of the Top Ten Canadian films of the decade 2000-2010) and from the production company of Oscar® winning documentary SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN in coproduction with the NFB (STORIES WE TELL) comes the award-winning film HADWIN’S JUDGEMENT.  An adventure tale recounting the true story of Grant Hadwin, who single-handedly cut down North America’s most sacred tree in the late 90’s — the Golden Spruce, in reaction to the massive destruction of irreplaceable Pacific Northwest rainforests by big logging corporations, and then mysteriously disappeared into the wild.

The film couches this story as an environmental thriller about the events leading up to Grant Hadwin's audacious destruction of the Golden Spruce, a 300 year old Sitka Spruce on Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands,BC), which was up until that time, North America's most precious tree, and one that had been incorporated into Haida mythology for hundreds of years.

Constructed in docu-drama style, this Man vs. Nature tale tracks the events that lead up to the catastrophic destruction of the Golden Spruce. This infamous tree once stood near Port Clements, Haida Gwaii a Sitka Spruce, lacking 80% of its normal chlorophyll, appearing completely radiant golden in colour, uniquely uniform in shape, was nicknamed Old Tree by the Haida Nation. Thousands of people came to bear witness to the Golden Spruce in one of the last places in the world where large stands of virgin coastal rainforest can still be found, in the Pacific Northwest of Haida Gwaii off the coast of Prince Rupert, British Columbia.

In 1997 Grant Hadwin, in - 35-degree weather took off all his clothes and jumped into the raging Yakoun River dragging a chainsaw with him. He reached the tree, almost 2 meters in diameter and almost 50 meters tall and made a cut that guaranteed the tree would fall during the next windstorm, as it did a few days later.

To the Haida people and their mythology surrounding this magnificent tree, this was the equivalent to the killing of a son. Shortly after the destruction of the tree, copies of a manifesto Hadwin had drafted were received by Greenpeace, the Vancouver Sun, members of the Haida Nation, and MacMillan Bloedel, Canada's biggest lumber company, which had a timber lease on the land on which the Golden Spruce stood- condemning all those who ignored the plight of the forest, and clarified Hadwin’s audacious action as a much-needed message and wake-up call, a call to action to protect life on this planet.

Many who knew Hadwin, a superman survivalist, think he is alive still. Grant Hadwin remains a missing and wanted man to this day.

Similar to the film INTO THE WILD, HADWIN'S JUDGEMENT is a man vs. nature story, part mystery and part cautionary tale for the future and the future of our relationship with nature. This spellbinding hybrid docudrama film begs the question “when is too far, far enough”?

This film has been awarded most recently with the Grand Jury Prize from the International Mountain Film Festival in Zakopane, Best Film Mountain Environment, Natural History at the Banff Mountain Film Festival, Grand Jury Prize at the Pontneuf Environmental Film Festival, nominated for two prestigious Canadian Screen Awards - Best Documentary and Best Cinematography among others.

Produced with additional funding from: