Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Rare screening of The Squamish Five movie next Monday

I'm not sure whether any members of Direct Action, AKA the Squamish Five, actually like the CBC TV movie that was made about their page in Canadian history. I have less invested in their story (since it ain't mine), less firsthand knowledge of what actually went down for it to grate against, and approached it (mostly) as a mere movie viewer, back when I was doing research for my first Subhumans interview, thinking it might be relevant (read my Terry Chikowski interview here - it's about the only substantial piece of writing that I've put on my blog about the Five that I haven't taken down). Given my outsider status - having more in common with the people making the film, as a media-person, on the outside looking in, than I had with any of the people whose lives are depicted - I have to confess that I found the film a fascinating artifact, definitely worth a look; the only thing I really remember being annoyed with was the filmmakers' rather laughable conception of punk (they make the "Gerry" character belch in public a lot, f'rinstance, to signify his punkdom. At least they didn't give him a British accent...). I'm under the impression that the filmmakers follow one former member's version of events kinda closely, too, which may or may not be controversial depending on where you position yourself. (I'm not sure where one WOULD go for an objective telling of this story, but I seem to recall a hint of what might be termed a self-exculpatory, um, agenda in the story presented by this film. Which may or may not be understandable, given the circumstances, but may also, um, colour the telling of certain events, as such agendas tend to do. Um. Pardon me while I waffle here a bit... I wasn't there, I didn't see any of this shit myself, and I don't want to point fingers at muthafuckin' ANYONE, thanks). Still, for a made-for-TV movie put out by a government-sponsored institution, they do extend a rather interesting (- "puzzling?" "Provocative?" "Offensive?" "Courageous?" "Despicable?" "Amusing?" - pick yer own damn adjective) degree of sympathy towards the politics of the people involved - much like the Fifth Estate episode on the Five, you get the feeling that there were a lot of people in the CBC who were at least to some extent on board with what Direct Action did and stood for - moreso than one might expect to find in an AMERICAN telling of a story like this, say. That alone makes it worth a look.

Oh, and it's shot locally, which is also pretty interesting - which is why it's screening Monday as part of the series Vancouver Sometimes Plays Itself, at the Waldorf. It has only had, to my knowledge, one truly public screening, prior to this, when the CBC first aired it. Sorry to all involved that I have been neglecting this series until now - I just didn't get around to plugging it, sorry folks!

Yes, I know - Monday is hockey night... game six, I'm told. Make your choice! (As a kindness for those truly torn, while the film is almost impossible to see in any current format, the VHS tape of it could still be found, last I checked, in certain libraries as part of study kit on terrorism!).

Doors are at 7...

No comments: