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Over 40 years, more than 50 countries: a lifetime of lessons from docmaker Karin Wells

Karin Wells is an unrelenting reporter, ready to pack her bags to follow a story to its root. We sat down with Karin as she shares memories from some of her stories, and advice for those who will follow in her footsteps.
From the caste wars of India to seeking justice for victims of the Balkan War, Karin Wells has been doggedly following stories that need to be heard her whole career. (CBC )
The walls of Karin Wells' office are a collage of pictures and artifacts, little swatches of life gathered while on the heels of a story. A button from Ross Perot's election campaign, a press pass from Obama's inauguration, a gas mask handed out at ground zero after 9/11, thick blue rubber gloves from a fishing story on the Bay of Fundy, "Essential to heaving fish around" she says, "they're slippery little buggers."

But Karin cleared out her office last summer. After over 40 years at CBC, Karin Wells retired.

Karin is one of the best doc makers CBC has ever seen. Her ability to see the world and make it visible through sound is remarkable. She is an unrelenting reporter, ready to pack her bags to follow a story to its root. And that doggedness doesn't end when she returns home; she works her tape and writing until her story becomes a finely sculpted finished product.

Before she left, we sat down with Karin as she shares memories from some of her stories, and advice for those who will follow in her footsteps.

'Thank God I didn't turn the tape recorder off': Karin Wells reflects on a career of documentary making

On this episode of The Doc Project, we tour the work of the relentlessly dedicated doc producer, Karin Wells, and Karin herself will be our guide.

This episode features excerpts from four of Karin's documentaries; the full versions are available below.

Jihadi Town — Karin Wells takes us to the Danish city of Aarhus, where returning jihadis are enrolled in treatment programs rather than sent to jail.

Only One Bakira — This award-winning documentary examines the legacy of rape, and one woman's fight, during the Balkan War. 

The Women are Coming — Revisiting the 1970 abortion caravan: a defiant, country-wide trek aimed at putting abortion access on the national agenda.

In Out of the Rain — Documenting the idea of co-op brothels in British Columbia.

50th Year of Indian Independence — Karin Wells documentary on the caste wars of India. 

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