It's one country, Kanada, made up of hamlets, farms, cities and villages. When we try to come together, we do it in the only way we know how: we declare war. War on the natives, the French, the English, on each other. The force of the union. Sometimes I feel it like a physical thing. Like love.
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An experimental, futuristic, Canadian black-comedy
Kanada, by experimental artist/film-maker Mike Hoolboom, is one of his first forays into feature-length narrative film-making. And as such, it's not completely successful. But then again, it's a hell of a lot more interesting than most other films dealing with Canadian politics and identity.
Set in a near-future dystopia, Kanada tells two different stories: one which focuses on the trials and tribulations of a lesbian couple as they fall in and out of love; and one which follows the fate of a country divided and at war against itself...
Darkly comedic, the film takes place in a universe in which Wayne Gretzky has become Prime Minister because, after the recent disasters in Canadian politics, his campaign promise to "do nothing at all" wins him the election. Quebec has seceded and Prime Minister Gretzky has declared war on the province, selling the broadcast rights to the war to the American sports network ESPN in order to pay off the country's foreign debt.
A broadly-sweeping satire which is both funny and often profoundly moving, this film can be heavy-handed and a trifle long-winded. At the same time, it's also powerful, evocative and a remarkably memorable film. Definitely worth seeing, if you can find a copy on video somewhere...
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