On DVD from Candy Factory Film and writer/director Robert Cohen is one of the most amazing documentaries that educated me on BEING CANADIAN.
Robert Cohen is – well, Canadian! An Emmy Award winning writer and producer of such series like The Simpsons, American Dad and The Big Bang Theory, he moved from Calgary to Los Angeles becoming a comedy writer.
It was when his friends and colleagues discover he is Canadian, that the stereotypes come out in a barrage of ‘Canada eh?’ or comments on the snow. That’s when Cohen gets the idea to go home and question being Canadian.
Jumping in a mini-van along with a few friends documenting the trip, he travels from one end of his homeland to the other. He wants to find out “What does it mean to be Canadian?” besides maple syrup and Mounties.
Now is Cohen’s chance to explore and explain the history of Canada as well as the questions “What is our national identity”, “What about Canada creates so many funny people? and “What the hell is poutine?”
Helping him to answer these questions are fellow Canadians Dan Aykroyd, Martin Short, Catherin O’Hara, Eugene Levy, Seth Rogen, Mike Meyers, Dave Foley, Cobie Smulders, Will Arnett, Howie Mandel, the band Rush, Alanis Morissette, Michael J. Fox, Paul Shaffer, Alex Trebek, Jason Priestly, David Steinberg and William Shatner.
If you didn’t know many of these beloved actors/actresses, comedians and rockers are Canadian well now you do. It is also wonderful to hear their own ideals and beliefs about where they are from and how it shaped who they are now.
This is a charming, funny, unexpected and wonderful documentary!
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TUBS OF POPCORN: I give BEING CANADIAN five tubs of popcorn out of five. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this piece but with every question Cohen asks I found myself becoming more and more fascinated by what he had to say.
He is correct in that most Americans don’t give a second thought to Canada and by the end of this documentary I felt guilty about that. I quite honestly would love to take the same trip he did to experience a country that really does have so much to offer.
Whether it is the long winding roads, changing weather, rocky shores or charming display of Canadian affection with a parade, I was enamored. The explanation of apology and the history Cohen shares – all of this is done with humor and self-deprecation that makes me want to give every corner of Canada a huge hug and then cook everyone dinner insisting they have seconds.
Thank you Robert Cohen for have the heart to share your quest filled with kindness of strangers at a gas station, living hostility vicariously through hockey, inferiority complex, explaining the Partition of Quebec (I didn’t understand it prior to this) and how it’s possible for someone to steal thousands of gallons of Canada’s prized maple syrup!
This is the most fun I’ve had watching a documentary in the longest time. BEING CANADIAN was the Official Selection for HotDocs, Nantucket Film Festival, Traverse City Film Festival and nominated Best Documentary Screenplay for Robert Cohen from the Writers Guild of America.
With Canada’s Sesquicentennial Anniversary coming in 2017, BEING CANADIAN is the best way to be informed and gives us all plenty of time to buy a gift!