Souvenir of Canada

Ever seen Souvenir of Canada? It’s a 2005 documentary based on a book by Douglas Coupland and I borrowed it from our local public library. It is a very interesting and short (70 minutes) trip down memory lane for our Canadian baby boomers. The narration is well done by Coupland, himself, and outlines his own quirks and views in a series of titled vignettes. It is fascinating to watch his relationship with his parents: his mother is quite unafraid of speaking her views; his father is quite an accomplished (and very Canadian according to Douglas) man but one of few words.
His visual art presentation “Canada House” is a startling trip in itself. He takes a CMHC house scheduled for demolition and uses the walls and space as an extended canvas into his personal views about what makes him and others Canadian. You really feel the loss when the house is demolished.
But, as one of the scenes (I don’t remember if it was a deleted scene on the DVD or not) about his father facing a possibly lethal water spout shows us, sometimes holding onto things (like Canada House or a tree) for dear life doesn’t change anything. We could be affected or not by events but the fact that we’re Canadian shines through no matter what we do, eh?
I’ll want to see it again.


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