My Prairie Home
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Award-winning filmmaker Chelsea McMullan takes audiences on a poetic journey through landscapes both real and emotional in My Prairie Home, an intimate portrait of transgender singer Rae Spoon. Neither a concert film nor a conventional biographical doc, this documentary-musical occupies a beautiful space in between. My Prairie Home is as bracingly personal and reflective as the songs of this acclaimed musician, who was born in Alberta and raised in a troubled and deeply religious home. McMullan tells Spoon's story through interviews, spoken performance and music, set to a backdrop of stunning images of the Canadian Prairies. As the camera captures Alberta's haunting landscapes from the windows of Greyhound buses and through the curtains of tiny motel rooms, McMullan immerses viewers in the indie musician's experiences and struggles, while Spoon's songs are brought to life via shows at truck-stop diners and imaginative staged visual interpretations. My Prairie Home is an unforgettable look at a unique Canadian artist.
My Prairie Home
This biopic is brief and brilliant. The musical interludes illuminate the meditative reflections on Rae’s early life and upbringing. Moving and inspiring without being maudlin.
Beautiful haunting and true
Loved this, but I have to declare a personal bias: I grew up in the same place, with the same scenery seared into my brain from an early age, and - though far less extreme - experienced a somewhat similar upbringing (evangelical).
So the flat and the Rocky and the badlands were doubly evocative for me. (I live somewhere else, now.) The strange connection between who one is no matter where you are and the sense of attachment to "place" has always intrigued. So for me, the mood was captured beautifully in a gentle blend of words (introspection, deadpan wry humour), music (spare, haunting, more introspection), and visual (majestic nature and dreary towns, the banal and the imaginative, beauty and small-mindedness flourishing in the same lonely spaces).
Great approach to story-telling and successfully executed from where I sit. The mood is so powerfully created, and the story so effectively told, without an excess of spoken word. I remember similar car trips through the mountains. I loved those mountains - comforting, silent allies, it seemed, while i was held captive in the back of the family car. Captivated and captive. That's childhood. We can all relate. But the truly unique, intimate, funny and sad context is deftly completed in the musical/lyrical accompaniment: Amy Grant providing the theme song for the road trip. And where was she in the end - God's absentee "back-up" - when a confused young girl needed her? Let's just say I laughed (ruefully) and cried.