A Canadian war memorial sparks a battle over what it means to love one’s country
Planned for the Cape Breton Highlands National Park in Nova Scotia by the Toronto businessman Tony Trigiani, the 24-metre Mother Canada monument was intended to serve the dual purpose of honouring the country’s war dead and boosting the area’s largely seasonal fishing economy. However, its opponents saw it as a violation of protected public lands, a troubling appeal to ‘one-dimensional nationalism’, and an eyesore. Engaging and evenhanded, Craig Jackson’s short documentary shifts between the varying perspectives of the planned monument’s defenders and its detractors, capturing the vexing nature of public discourse. Beginning as a film about a local dispute, Mother Canada becomes a gripping tale of media sensationalism, contrasting notions of patriotism, jingoistic local politics and the purpose of public lands.
Director: Craig Jackson