A Future for Canadian Political Film?

Is there a future for Canadian political film? This is the question I will be asking in my presentation to the Canadian public administration research conference in June. The conference, sponsored by the Canadian Association of Programs in Public Administration (CAPPA), will of course be conducted online.

I have completed a draft of my Powerpoint deck for the conference and it is linked to this blog post. As Zoom provides less opportunity for a presenter to assert his/her presence than live presentation, I have put more of the content of the presentation into the deck. Still, it is only 13 slides long, including title and contents pages.

Borins 2021 CAPPA Conference

The presentation is based on the chapter on Canadian moving-image political narrative that I am working on as part of Public (Re)Presentations. I have posted quite a few blogs based on parts of the chapter under the heading My Research, particularly one about Canadian political documentary.

A Request to Readers

This presentation begins by briefly describing the book and mentioning some of the narrative texts discussed in earlier chapters about English and American political narratives. I then outline the challenging conditions of production for Canadian political moving-image texts, and comment on some of those that were produced in the last sixty years. The last slide asks if Canadian political moving-image texts – Canadian political film for short – has a future. I hope that some readers of this blog will engage with this question, either by posting a comment or contacting me personally.

Proving my Point

During the weekend Globe and Mail columnist Andrew Coyne published a critique of Bill C10, which would give the government power to regulate and tax the video-streaming giants. In my deck, I suggest this tax revenue could fund content about Canadian politics. Coyne suggests searching “Canada” and “Canadian” in Netflix to show that there is lots of Canadian content there already. I went a step further and searched “Canadian politics” on Netflix (the Canadian site, to be sure). It came back with five suggestions, none of which had anything to do with Canada: Vikings, the Russian Revolution, Thomas Piketty, Roe v. Wade, and “Get Me Roger Stone.” Res ipsa loquitur.

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