Archives / 1987 Sundance Film Festival

Stations

Director: William D. MacGillivray

Screenwriters: Michael Jones, William D. MacGillivray, Lionel Simmons

Institute History

  • 1987 Sundance Film Festival

Description

Canada’s eastern provinces do not have a strong filmmaking tradition, but recently a number of independent productions, mainly short films, have been make largely as a result of the establishment of two film co-ops. Bill MacGillivray is undoubtedly the most talented fictional director of these groups, making a wonderful hour-long film, Aerial View, before turning to the demands of the feature film.

The resulting film, Stations, has been unjustly ignored, a fate that it doesn’t deserve, for it is one of the most creative works to have emerged from Canada in this decade. A young television journalist and ex-seminary student who has just witnessed the sudden death of one of his friends, is assigned to a cross-country grass-roots story that means traveling by train from coast-to-coast. His encounters on his trip point to a way out of the dilemma that he feels; his voyage becomes a search for something to believe in, to fill a spiritual void. As the train, a symbol of what unites Canada, travels through the magnificent scenery of the country, Tom meets a number of frustrated, unemployed people who force him to confront his values and beliefs. Gradually, as Tom gets closer and closer to home, his life and what is important to him becomes clearer.

— Piers Handling

Screening Details

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