Canada on Film: 5 Movies as Beautiful as the Country They Capture

March 27, 2017

If Canadians know one thing, it’s how good we look.

No one’s got landscapes like we do, and no one knows better how to capture those landscapes on camera than our film crews. To have a full sense of what it means to be Canadian, it’s imperative that we discover how uniquely beautiful our country is, how rich it is in ecosystems, and how our fellow Canadians navigate their lives in accordance to the natural textures around them.

Being the second largest country in the world means that Canada’s got a lot of body to explore, so next time you find yourself daydreaming about your next vacation, why not save money by taking an exciting trip home?

Until then, here’s a list of five films to check out to help you decide where to visit next:

Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner (2001)

Calm, quiet, cold – three words that describe the Canadian Arctic without doing justice to the sheer awesomeness of the terrain, nor to the expertly captured portrait of it in Zacharias Kunuk’s Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner. This epic film follows the life of Atanarjuat (Natar Ungalaaq), a man who does his best to survive in the face of jealousy, love, and the elements. While the story itself is almost Shakespearean in its depth, the most prominent role in the film is that of Nunavut.

The Grand Seduction (2013)

Don McKellar’s The Grand Seduction tells of life in the small fishing town of Tickle Head, Newfoundland. Tickle Head is filled with good people and a real problem: without jobs, people are leaving. When a doctor (Taylor Kitsch) stops by, the residents of Tickle Head make it their mission to keep him around so that a company might decide to set up shop nearby. This hilarious, feel good movie shows Newfoundland in all its glory. Replete with gorgeous shots of harbours, hills, and the sea, it’s impossible not to see the beauty of Trinity Bay, Newfoundland.

My Winnipeg (2007)

In My Winnipeg, Guy Maddin guides us through his hometown of Winnipeg. Not necessarily as green as the other entries on this list (the film’s in black and white), this grizzly look at Maddin’s experience growing up in Manitoba’s capital. The film is highly stylized and deeply personal, so the Winnipeg we’re treated to is far from objectively portrayed. Still, having a local celebrity give us access to the city presents it in a way we’ve never see.

Atanarjurat film still   Sleeping Giant film still

Sleeping Giant (2015)

Andrew Cividino invites us to explore the not often depicted Thunder Bay, but more scenically, cottage life on Lake Superior. The film follows three boys as they go through teenage hardships while life tests the strength of their friendship. An intimate account of youth, love, and discovery, Sleeping Giant is painted by gorgeous shots of the largest of the Great Lakes. If this film doesn’t make you forget about the mosquitoes, nothing will.

The Grey Fox (1982)

Apart from being an exhilarating account of life in the old West, Phillip Borsos’s The Grey Fox shows British Columbia in all its green glory. With shots of Fort Steele, the British Columbia Railway (not the Canadian National Railway), and all the general splendour of the west, this biographic film of stagecoach robber Bill Miner (Richard Farnsworth) will keep you immersed in both the story it tells and the incredible place in which it’s set.

Gosh, we’re pretty! Seen a gorgeous film shot in Canada lately that you think we missed? We’d love to see! Let us know on Twitter @CanFilmDay!

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