Halifax, Nova Scotia – February 20, 2012 – Everyone knows about the Pirates of the Caribbean. Johnny Depp’s portrayal of pirate Jack Sparrow is already the stuff of movie legend. But what about the pirates of Atlantic Canada? Pirates and Privateers is a half hour documentary that explores the rough-and-tumble history of marine piracy in the Maritimes.
Hundreds of years ago, the secluded coves and inlets of the Maritimes were perfect hiding places for pirates avoiding detection by the King’s navy. And with the huge fishing industry, the Maritimes were a perfect hunting ground for supplies, ships and new recruits. Pirates and Privateers introduces the viewer to several notorious pirates who plundered Atlantic Canada, and tells a story that recalls the blunderbuss, the cutlass, evil deeds, and supposed buried treasure.
Not many Canadians know what is meant by the word “privateer”, even though privateering was a significant social and financial force in times of war, whether against the Spanish, the French, or the Americans during the War of 1812. Pirates and Privateers explains how the business of privateering worked, as practiced in one of Canada’s most successful privateering centres: Liverpool Nova Scotia.
Pirates and Privateers was written and directed by award-winning Halifax documentary-maker Geoff D’Eon, best known for his work on This Hour Has 22 Minutes and CBC Television’s Doc Zone. The documentary was produced by Edward Peill from Halifax-based Tell Tale Productions Inc.
“There are so many rich pirate stories in Atlantic Canada, it was hard to know which ones to pick. And how many times have we all heard that Stan Roger’s song Barrett’s Privateers,” says D’Eon. “It brings the house down every time, but it’s amazing how few people actually know what a privateer was. Hopefully, this documentary will clear up the confusion.”