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In may 2020, the National Geographic channel will present a historical project based on the novel by Pulitzer prize winner Annie Prue. Barkskins-roughly translated as settlers or loggers. In the book, this is the name of people who, under a contract, in exchange for their own land, were engaged in the development of new territories.
The story begins with the mysterious massacre of a group of colonizers in the vast and ruthless wilds of New France in the 1690s. What happened threatens to drag the region into an all-out war. And the number of suspects is huge. They may be English, people from the Hudson’s Bay company, and Indians who may be in League with the British, intent on driving the French out of their territory.
The ten-part drama will take viewers to the wild seventeenth century. The plot takes place in a small settlement, in what is now the canadian province of Quebec. In the new world, the Catholic Church sends Jesuit priests to convert the indigenous population. France also brings to its lands “the king’s daughters”, young women who must marry, create families, give birth to children and help the colony flourish.
All members of this diverse community, full of crooks and outcasts, will have to overcome severe hardships, withstand competition and try to survive at this crossroads of two civilizations. Barkskins, is a story about survival and the desire to establish a civilized life, among endless forests. Landless paupers, religious fanatics, greedy merchants, and impoverished girls hoping to find wealthy men have come to seek their fortune on another continent.
But their dreams meet with harsh reality. The settlers find themselves in a large unknown world, a dark and dangerous place, long inhabited by the “Iroquois”, who treat their appearance with disdain.