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John A. - Birth Of A Country

Shawn Doyle    DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 16.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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John A. - Birth Of A Country + Canada: A People's History: Set 1 + The War of 1812
Price For All Three: CDN$ 60.79

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The time period: 1856 to 1864. The United States coveted the land. Britain was not prepared to fight. On this stage, lit by the threat of war and the brutality of abandonment, two men, each profoundly committed to his own views, battle to dominate the shape of Canada's future.

JOHN A: THE BIRTH OF A COUNTRY lays bare the passionate struggle between John A. Macdonald - the charismatic leader of the Conservative Party - and his opponent, the fiercely determined George Brown, leader of what would become the Liberal Party. Both were riled into action by dramatically different visions for their country and a deep hatred for each other.

JOHN A: THE BIRTH OF A COUNTRY is a political thriller, the story of personal hatred, public passion and a political poison pill. Only the fire of the conflicting energies of Macdonald and Brown could have created the Canada we know today.

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Most helpful customer reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars John A. - Birth of a Country Nov. 15 2011
By Pascale
I purchased this movie to show to my Grade 8 students as part of a unit on Confederation after one of my students told me she had seen it on CBC. Excited that there was finally a movie about John A. available, I took a chance and ordered it without having seen it.

As it turns out, it was money well spent. This movie was an excellent way to bring John A., Georges-Étienne Cartier and George Brown to life for my students. They were particularly drawn in by John A's charisma, and they loved the dramatic tension between John A. and George Brown.

For my teaching purposes, I wish that the movie continued right up to the Conferences and to Confederation in 1867 - but these are covered in the Canada: A People's History videos, which I also use in my teaching (but are far less interesting). The title is a bit misleading in that the movie ends long before the birth of the country. But this is still an excellent addition to the Grade 8 history curriculum. If you are a teacher, you may also want to follow up with a few of the video clips from [...]. The kids loved those too.

If you're a Canadian history buff, you'll love it too. Well worth the money and highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A quality film on Canada Jan. 16 2013
Verified Purchase
If you have ever wondered how Canada came about, John A. is one of the best films I have seen. It will keep you interested and focused from start to finish and leave you with a much better understanding of the formation of our great country. Probably the most underrated film made by the CBC. That's right, the CBC actually made a great movie.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Whoever Said History is Boring Never Saw John A Dec 26 2012
A highly entertaining political drama and an honest look at early Canadian politics. It's ironic to see how things have changed in this country since confederation in regards to political attitudes, etc. John A Macdonald's charisma was not so unlike Pierre Trudeau's about one century later. This was a made-for-TV (CBC) movie, on 16:9 ratio in good quality visual and sound. The writing and acting are top-notch quality. Shawn Doyle really becomes John A. Macdonald. The disk includes a behind-the-scenes bonus feature, exploring the making of the film, also talking with and eavesdropping on the actors (on and off set.) I'd highly recommend it for anyone interested in Canadian history!

It left me wanting more, which is the mark of a good storyteller. I would very much like to see a Part 2, and 3 and more!
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As an American who grew up across the river from Windsor - Ontario and spent summer cookouts at Point Pelee, I thoroughly enjoyed watching this dramatization last night of the events that led to Confederation and nationhood for Canada. Admittedly, we Yanks get virtually zero exposure to Canadian history and tend to show no interest in Canadiana. But this drama was a delight to watch and has made me want to know more about what made Canada what it is today. Canada should produce more dramas like this one and share them with the world.
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