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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
As of June 2004, the Halifax Explosion still holds the record for being the largest man-made (though inadvertent), non-nuclear explosion in history. See more »
There is a scene at the railway station in which a rail car carries the old CNR logo (A maple leaf with a box inside it containing the words "Canadian National Railways"). The CNR was formed in 1923. 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 »
Shattered City is a highly enjoyable retelling of an almost forgotten event in Canadian history. I am from Halifax, and for me, the sight of the ships exploding in the harbour was a visceral experience. The blast, which occurred in December, 1917, was the largest man-made explosion before Hiroshima, killed 2000 people instantly and vaporized two square miles of the city of Halifax.
I could have done without some of the more soap opera-like elements of it, but in all, I was engaged by the characters and moved by their horrendous plight. Although plagued by a low budget($10 million), the show did an excellent job of recreating wartime Halifax and the harbour, and the people felt authentic as they went about their daily lives.
This film is highly recommended for anyone who enjoys a good story of human courage and drama, and is a must-see for any fan of Canadian history.
Postscript: I now live in northern Canada, and watched the show with a group of westerners and northerners. None of them had heard of the Halifax Explosion. What a sad commentary on our woefully provincial education systems and on our ability to tell our own stories.
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