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Review: In the Name of All Canadians is both engaging and difficult to watch

Patrick Reed and Andrea Schmidt’s contribution, Notwithstanding, imagines the potential casualties of the Charter’s now rarely discussed clause.

Laura Hagglund/Globe and Mail Update

3 out of 4 stars

Title
In the Name of All Canadians
Directed by
Vivian Belik, Jennifer Bowen, Karen Chapman, Aisha Jamal, Khoa Lê, Annick Marion, Ariel Nasr, Patrick Reed, Andréa Schmidt, and Janelle and Jérémie Wookey
Country
USA
Language
English

Confederation's 150th birthday has sparked genuine reflection from some corners, empty-headed myth-building from others (hello, CBC's Canada: The Story of Us). Fortunately, In the Name of All Canadians is firmly in the former category, an impressively curated selection of six short documentaries that take a serious, sometimes heartbreaking look at this country we call home, specifically the country that has existed since the Charter of Rights and Freedoms has taken hold. A standout is Patrick Reed and Andrea Schmidt's contribution, Notwithstanding, which imagines the potential casualties of the Charter's now rarely discussed clause. Commissioned by Hot Docs and produced with courage and compassion by Toronto filmmaker Dan Montgomery (Tower, How Heavy This Hammer), the film is both engaging and difficult to watch, its directors never coming to any pat thesis on what, exactly, Canada is today. As it should be – 150 years in, one person's Canada is not the same as another's.

In the Name of All Canadians opens June 28 at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, followed by screenings at cinemas across the country.

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