Shattered City, an epic two-part mini-series, dramatizes a compelling piece of Canadian history. It is the story of how a tragic incident at the height of the First World War became a living metaphor for the worldwide conflict, and how Halifax arose from the ashes after severe destruction and devastation. In the early hours of December 6, 1917, the Mont Blanc, a French-owned freighter loaded to the gunnel's with thousands of tons of TNT, collided with a Belgian relief ship and exploded in the Halifax Harbour. The explosion was so vast that it killed more than 2,000 people, injured 9,000 more and completely flattened two square kilometers of northern Halifax. The series settles mostly on one family, the Collins, who's eldest son Charlie, a captain in the Royal Canadian Army, who tries to find the rest of his family including his fatally injured father, as well as his mother, and other siblings among the rubble, and later finds himself as a lawyer defending the Mont Blanc's captain, Le ... Written by
The explosion occurred at 9:04:35 local time. See more »
The town hall scenes are filmed in Grace United Church in Dartmouth. Visible is a brass plaque on the wall which recognizes the efforts of the congregation in the rebuilding of the church after the explosion - Grace United having been destroyed in the Halifax Explosion. See more »
This film is dedicated to the spirit and the memory of Constance "Connie" Bond Young August 9, 1911 - February 22, 2003 See more »
Granted it would seem that much of Shattered City is fictional, it is only BASED on fact as most films are. Nonetheless this is a great triumph for Canadian History to introduce everyone to a devastating event that still is one of the largest of it's kind in World History. Even still the film is only in small part about the actual explosion that rocked Halifax by a French ship carrying an unprecedented amount of munitions. The rest of the film is a story about a family dealing with the harsh realities of World War 1 and a Captain returned if only briefly to them with horrible memories of the deaths of his fallen friends.
Vincent Walsh leads the cast as this Captain. He's young and a great presence on screen, without a doubt one of the great Canadian Actors I've ever seen. He is intense and emotional as Charlie Collins and a stand out performance. I have to say that with the exception of a few minor performances the rest of the cast are very much supportive to Walsh. Their roles are small and there are a lot of characters in the film...too many to have any major stand out performances. They all do well...some worth mentioning are the younger members of the cast...Clare Stone, and Max Morrow, as well as Tamara Hope, and Lynne Griffin as the mother of the Collin's family. Everyone plays a role and they do it quite well. Nobody drags down the story which eventually builds up to the horrifying explosion which is done in a brilliant and terrifying fashion. Director and Canadian Bruce Pittman does exactly what is needed to give the film the Canadian Uniqueness and importance while still making it mainstream and watchable for anyone.
The Film captures the essence of the time, and war, and the people that founded this country. They also show a time when Canadians pulled together to help each other and save lives. The film is very long, an epic length for sure and although sometimes it drags a little I believe the importance of the film and the quality of it outweighs it's slightly overdone length. It now sits on my table in the same group as Anne Of Green Gables which is a high order in my books. For those who are complaining about it's fictional content just remember that 99% of American made films about history are wrought with added dramatics and to finally have a Canadian Epic of this caliber at all is enough to accept the dramatic content. The only other critical point I can make is that the sub story about the German spies preparing to bomb the fleet never is dealt with or much mentioned after the explosion, I think it was perhaps avoidable and could have edited out but nonetheless every Canadian should see this film and history buffs will love it!! 7/10
0 of 0 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?