Thursday, August 16, 2012

This month in Canada's History

Forty years ago around now, Team Canada was just about to start getting its head handed to it by the "gee, they actually can play this game" team from the Soviet Union.  Canada's History has a fairly terrific spread on the  event, with particularly great Aislin cartoons of the whole story. There's a nice historical detachment: the editor admits he wasn't born then. Some of the materials here.

My own column in the print magazine celebrates a documentary from Newfoundland called Regarding our Father, by writer-broadcaster Marjorie Doyle and her filmmaker brother John W. Doyle. It is built from the amateur Kodachrome movies their father Gerald Doyle made as he did business in the outports of Newfoundland and Labrador ... starting in the late 1930s.

It's a view of Newfoundland history I never expected to see.  To quote myself:

     Who imagines outport buildings covered with Coca-Cola signs and ads for Sunlight soap and Camay?
     Well, of course they were. That was Doyle’s business, delivering the world’s products to precisely these people and places. By land, Newfoundland’s outports were utterly cut off -- but this was a seagoing economy....
     For sure Gerald S. Doyle’s films emphasize special summertime moments. Everyone smiles, and sunlight glints on cobalt-blue waters where no fog intrudes. But the outports he filmed were not poor gray places. When the outport fishing economy worked, people could afford to buy those products he sold. 
More on the DVD, and purchasing info, here
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