National Parks Project, The
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National Parks Project, The

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4 STARS
Zacharias Kunuk, Scott Smith, Peter Lynch, Sturla Gunnarsson, Kevin McMahon, Louise Archambault, Hubert Davis, Catherine Martin, Daniel Cockburn, John Walker, Jamie Travis, Stephane Lafleur, and Keith Behrman (Canada, Special Presentations)

Screenings:
Saturday, April 30, 9:30 p.m.
TIFF Bell Lightbox 1 (350 King Street West)
Monday, May 2, 9:15 p.m.
Royal Cinema (608 College Street)


In celebration of the centennial of the founding of Parks Canada, 13 directors and 39 musicians set out into the wilds of our national parks with the intention of exploring and channeling the beauty of our country’s diverse landscapes. The result is The National Parks Project, an epic multimedia experience that could have come from The Group of Seven if they had acoustic guitars and digital cameras instead of easels and paintbrushes.
A team of one director and three musicians visited a park in each province and territory, drawing inspiration from their surroundings and performing their work on site. Each film and its music is different, from a haunting elegy for Saskatchewan’s Prince Albert National Park, to a jarring rock ballad on the rocky shore of Newfoundland’s Gros Morne, to the lofty poetic pretension of Ontario’s own Bruce Peninsula. Although the collection is far more high brow art project than documentary per se—and can seem to drag out a bit when all 13 films are watched straight—the visuals alone are enough to make it worth checking out.
If a luscious tour of the most majestic corners of our fair country isn’t motivation enough, consider the marquee of musicians involved. Among those who trekked into the woods for the film are Sarah Harmer, Shad, Sam Roberts, and Old Man Luedecke, as well as members of Broken Social Scene, Woodpigeon, Patrick Watson, The Weakerthans, Ohbijou, and many more.

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