Spectres of Shortwave ★★★★★

Right from the beginning it is intriguing with a crisp and mysterious sound design and gorgeous images shot on 35mm film. It explores the idea and place where 13 shortwave transmission towers stood on the Tantramar Marshes close to Sackville, New Brunswick. With the soundtrack simulcast to the airwaves on Wave Farm Radio while the film screened, it was a magical evening exploring a vanishing broadcast method.

The towers have always fascinated me and I was lucky to visit them when they were standing. My final visit to the towers was with Amanda Dawn Christie, years before decommissioning. In her documentary she assembles stories from those who worked and lived around the towers and the strange and wonderful things that connect with them. The images, sound, and interviews are all blended together in a mesmerizing way as you are immersed in a unique world. Using contact microphones that she built herself, Christie fills the soundtrack with the sounds created by the towers. It's haunting and beautiful to have the voices of the towers accompany the images and it's emotional and heartbreaking as we see the towers falling. It's a powerful work of art that made me see that part of the world differently and transported me away from my concerns into a world between memory, history, and geography.