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date: 24 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The desire to escape is a theme common to films from Winnipeg. However, as Guy Maddin’s My Winnipeg (2006), a surreal docufantasia about the city and its history shows, leaving the city behind can be a difficult thing to do. This chapter surveys the history of Winnipeg fiction and documentary film in order to understand how cinema produces and projects a civic imaginary defined by the physical and psychological grip the city has on its inhabitants. It examines the centrality of the Winnipeg Film Group to the city’s cinematic profile and considers the ways in which its productions have both captured and contributed to how Winnipeg thinks about itself. The chapter concludes with an examination of how Indigenous filmmakers, as a consequence of their claims to the very land that Winnipeg occupies, have a fundamentally different relationship to the city to produce films less about escape than endurance.

Keywords: Winnipeg Film Group, National Film Board, Guy Maddin, John Paizs, Indigenous film, experimental film, regional filmmaking

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