My Winnipeg (2007)
Call it docu-fantasia; pseudo, quasi or hyper documentary, experimental and avant-garde, My Winnipeg truly is a poem, a powerful and honest poetic film that mesmerizes the viewer with its unique imagery and storytelling. With this movie, Maddin definitely entered my list of the most important and visionary directors of this century.
We learn a lot about Winnipeg through Maddin's eyes, particularly about the vibe of the city. Revealing hidden layers that will not be contained in any tourist guidebook and that not even locals would be willing to explain, Maddin opens the doors to his hometown with certain nostalgia and desperation. It's as if the movie itself was cathartic for Maddin to make. It feels like he has been keeping all the lines of narrative to himself and needed to spit them out for psychological healing, seeking freedom from his childhood, from his memories, from his fears and his unconformities. However, Maddin manages to make all these private and personal feelings universal, turning Winnipeg into a familiar place with which we also relate to and struggle with -hockey, people, sleepwalking, TV shows, buildings, public pools, the forks, mother issues, Winnipeg-. When the movie ends, unlike most Winnipegeans, we are forced to leave Winnipeg.
written by Bob Clapes