i was walking through my semi local video distribution.. place, when i came across this film. the title reminded me of something cheasy, equivalent to that dvd with the burning log (why), but i saw that douglas coupland was the narrator so i took a closer look.
as with any attempt at a representation of a collective identity... not everyone will agree on this summation of 'canada', and coupland states this in the movie, that trying to pin down 'canada' is like trying to hold onto water, or something to that effect, and it's true. especially something like canada, which takes pride in the fact that so many different perspectives comprise our nation as a whole. the whole cultural mosaic thing, but at the same time, there are some things that people living in this country will all be able to relate to, and coupland attempts to gather some of these objects and ideas, all of a physical nature.
coupland approaches this 'finding of canada' two ways. first, he uses his own history as a sort of example for some of the concepts he comes up with. while this might seem problematic, as we're not all from not only that part of canada, but have different backgrounds/ family dynamics/ etc., the fact that he uses his own story as a foundation didn't get in the way of my relation to the main points he was making. the relation to nature, the relation to the space... i couldn't apply all of what he said to my own experience, but i could relate everything he said to someone i know, if not to myself.
and the second part was he went about building this 'canada house', which was essentially a house he had painted completely white inside and filled with different items of canadiana. it was interesting to see what he included.
while i don't think this is by any means a full picture of what a canadian identity is, it's definitely a start. sometimes its hard to see your own identity because you're too close to the subject, and maybe taking an outsider's perspective helps with the analysis. it was an interesting movie, quirky. i'd definitely pick up the book.