The U.S.A. is well known for documenting its rich history on video. Canada has been remiss in this area. One film that very effectively captures a turbulent time in Canadian history is "Two Solitudes". I had been reluctant to watch this film at first because I thought it would be too political by its description. However, the political climate of the plot is only a referential backdrop, like the Civil War is to "Gone With the Wind". Far from an epic, "Two Solitudes" is an enjoyable story that, in the end, invokes national pride. The title has multiple meanings as the story unravels many dichotomies: Anglo vs. Franco, Protestant vs. Catholic, Traditional Rural vs. Industrial Urban, and Pacifism vs. Patriotism. These are common conflicts that weave in and out of the story but are never subject to preachiness. The characters are shown as realistic individuals, not symbols of a certain group of people. The acting is so strong that I felt sorry that the script was not more worthy of their performances. Chris Wiggins gives an amazingly strong performance as the white haired patriarch. Raymond Cloutier plays a charismatic pacifist leader who has strong Catholic allegiance(a role he would reprise a year later in "Riel"). The only token non-Canadian in the cast is Stacy Keach. He's almost as villainous in this movie as he is in "American History X". I guess you could call this film "CANADIAN HISTORY X" and the X hits the spot. Canada needs to make more quality films about her rich history and use "Two Solitudes" as a framework.
11 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?