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Escape To Canada
Escape To Canada
Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Documentary
NR     2007     1hr 20min

"...a winner..." - Variety — "Canada is hip." - Bill Maher, HBO's Real Time With Bill Maher — Canada used to be cold; now it's suddenly "cool!" — Around the world, Canada is known for its beavers, Mounties and winter clima...  more »


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Movie Details

Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Pop, Rock & Roll, Documentary
Studio: Disinformation
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 06/19/2007
Original Release Date: 01/01/2007
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2007
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 20min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Informative and illuminating documentary
PJR | Minneapolis, Minnesota United States | 12/12/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The legalization of marijuana and gay marriage are not my issues. The world has many bigger problems. But freedom is my issue. This film does a fine job of presenting a perspective on the energetic and relatively effectual fights for individual freedoms in Canada, versus the US where the fights are made to seem rather ineffectual. This is obviously one perspective, but that perspective is developed so well through interviews and film clips that intelligent adults will find it well worth pondering. I found myself motivated to do more study of these issues and to try to better understand Canada, which is terrific!

This is not a film that was made for kids. The film presumes that a few words here and there will remind you that there are reasonable Canadians who do not share its producer's perspectives. Again, that should be enough for intelligent adult viewers who have been educated to try to weigh a variety of perspectives fairly and to sample different points of view, but kids are inclined to cut corners and make snap judgments and not run out and do more reading. This is not to say that it is dangerous for kids. But if you are a parent you should be prepared for discussions on the topics themselves and also on how to go about becoming well-informed on issues in general.

So the film did a great job of presenting a point of view on the fight to defend the spirit of individual freedoms in Canada. It also however was packed with detailed and important information about the sociopolitical situations in Canada with regard to these issues, the legal reasoning there, and about US pressures on Canada that we just don't get from our media here in the US.

Some viewers may find the emphasis on information boring. For example, when the conservatives begin to roll back the gains that the proponents of marijuana had made, the details get a bit complicated and the film no longer can be seen thorough the filter of a stereotypical heroic struggle that is bound to triumph because it is virtuous. It is a history lesson (again, more or less from one perspective).

Again, gay marriage was never my issue. What does it matter what you call it so long as people's practical rights to live in peace and share legal benefits legally with others are respected? The film somehow or other got me to go beyond that and think about "separate but equal." Somehow that made me remember the "separate" but equal facilities when I spent some time in the South back in the 1950s. I guess the green painted seats on the bus did not have to be in the back, but they always were. And so on with bathrooms, drinking fountains etc. and certainly schools. Separate but equal was more a joke than anything else. It is useful in pondering gay marriage to see people on film functioning in a society that is comfortable for having decided that separate but equal does not make sense for them.

The legalization of marijuana is commonly presented as a black or white issue by our media in the US. The discussion in Canada made our public discussions here look like bumper sticker wisdom. I don't know that it made me pro-legalization, but it certainly gave me a lot to think about, and since I want to be a responsible citizen that is valuable to me. Incidentally the intelligent speech (on the extra features) by the Mayor of Vancouver is one of the best thought out things on this topic that I have seen or read down here.

The third issue that the film covered was people leaving the US to escape the climate of repression in the US and this included guys who were against the war in Iraq and left the US military. I think we all knew these various things were going on, but the film put a face on the exodus. Again, this gives one more to think about than just words, stereotypes, and rumors."
Freedom, Canadian Style
Robert New | Vancouver, Canada | 12/28/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This documentary reviews the changes in the Canadian culture, percieved from both at home and abroad, that has occured since about 2001. From being a "boring" country that nobody really could say anything definitive about, to becoming one of the leading countries for freedom in the world. Canada is starting to stand up to the United States, and is thus getting a reputation for being "cool".

Highlighting the landmark 2003 Summer of Freedom which saw in Canada the legalization of both same-sex marriage and marijuana, the film traces the change in mass acceptance of these controversial areas through the Bush era. Canada seems to have come of age in its standing up to the United States for what it believes is right, in contradistinction to its previous little brother subservience to the American hegemony. In short, The United States is no longer the leader of freedom, and Canada has stepped up to the role.

Certainly Canada has a way to go, but the film points out some historically decisive breaks; and we can even see The United States following the Canadian precedents. From a middle power mouse sleeping next to an elephant, we have become the promised land for freedom, drawing people from around the world to breathe its refreshing air. Best not to forget, however, that Canada has long been the refuge of American dissidents.
HIgh and Dry in Canada
Jeff Jones | Vermont | 07/20/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I liked this documentary but it peaks early and leaves the viewer high and dry at the end... Great things happen and then seemingly they all go away by the end of this dvd... I would like a follow-up section to update
people on the different topics that are being addressed."