View all FilmsView all Films

Having recently immigrated to Montreal, Burkinabe director Hyacinthe Combary explores his roots in an effort to rediscover the spiritual values of his people. His quest leads him to the northern forests of Quebec and an enlightening encounter with the Atikamekw of Wemotaci. In filming this Aboriginal people, he creates a moving cinematic dialogue between the Gourmantche of Burkina Faso, who practise the divinatory art of geomancy, and the men of the taiga, who connect with the spirits through sweat lodges.

In this journey between North and South, the filmmaker comes to the realization that his quest is universal. "It is the same question for all the peoples of the earth: With the globalization of culture, how can one keep from becoming dehumanized, from being cut off from one's deepest being?"

Writing: Hyacinthe Combary
Director: Hyacinthe Combary
Producer: Yves Bisaillon
Cast or Participant: Charles Coocoo
Cast or Participant: Bapougni Coulidiaty
Cast or Participant: Maldjoa Combary
Cast or Participant: Richard Coocoo
Cast or Participant: Mary Coon
Cast or Participant: Paul-Yves Weizineau
Cast or Participant: David Boivin
Cast or Participant: Djouali Coulidiaty
Cast or Participant: Souleymane Coulidiaty
Cast or Participant: Linda Dubé
Cast or Participant: Catherine Hiess
Cast or Participant: Sonia Monsalve
Cast or Participant: Limani Ouali
Cast or Participant: Djergou Ouoba
Cast or Participant: Augustine Rasquin
Cast or Participant: Christopher Schools
Cast or Participant: José Tolo
Cast or Participant: Wolf Alfred Zimmerli
Consultant: Hyacinthe Combary
Photography: Michel La Veaux
Sound: Jean-Denis Daoust
Sound: Richard Lavoie
Editing: José Heppell
Sound: Olivier Calvert
Music: La Troupe Boayaba
Sound: Issa Nabi Traore
Voice and Narration: Hyacinthe Combary
Consultant: Nick Huard
Sound: Lise Wedlock
Sound: Serge Boivin
Producer: Yves Bisaillon

Tales of Sand and Snow

2004, Combary, Hyacinthe

80 min 27 s




Internet connection

Each film on this site is available for viewing at low speed or high speed.

  • Low speed: recommended if your Internet connection uses a dial-up modem (56 kbps or slower). Low-speed viewing results in lower quality image and sound.
  • High speed: recommended if you have high-speed Internet (DSL, cable modem) or are connected to an institutional network. Viewing in high-speed mode may cause occasional jerky images and sound interruptions if the speed of your connection is not fast enough.

If you're not sure which speed to use for viewing the films, try high speed first. If the results are not satisfactory, switch to low speed.



Films can be available for viewing in either Macromedia Flash or QuickTime. Image and sound quality are similar for all these formats.

  • Flash: lets you view the film directly in the Web page without launching an external application. Requires the Flash plug-in (download for free at Macromedia Flash Player).
  • QuickTime (alternative format): requires QuickTime, version 7 or more recent (download for free at QuickTime).

Closed captions (CC)

Translation of the audio portion of a film into subtitles, for example, dialogue, narration, sound effects, etc. These captions let hearing-impaired viewers read what they cannot hear. Closed captions are available for a few films. To access them, you must select QuickTime (under Format) and With closed captions (under Accessibility).


Described video (DV)

A narrated description of a film's key visual elements to enable the vision-impaired to form a mental picture of what is happening on screen. Described video is available for a few films. To access them, you must select QuickTime (under Format) and With described video (under Accessibility).

© National Film Board of Canada | Copyright | Accessibility | Credits
This web site is partly funded by Canadian Culture Online