Tuesday, January 13, 2015


    This Newfie flick , directed by Don McKellar, screenplay written by Michael Dowse and Ken Scott (of "Starbuck" and "Sticky Fingers" fame) starring Brendan Gleeson, Taylor Kitsch, Liane Balaban (New Waterford Girl), Gordon Pinsent, (Made in Canada), Mark Critch (Republic of Doyle), Mary Walsh (Mambo Italiano), Cathy Jones (22 Minutes) and Matt Watts (The Newsroom), its a film that had a really strong beginning, capturing the gritty lives of many Newfoundlanders, many of whom whose families survived as fishermen for many generations and who can fish no more, due to government laws and regulations, leading to many of them having to survive on the dole, yet still lovers of good whiskey and good craic, and celtic music, both Irish and Scottish and many a rowdy shanty sing song at the local pub. The film does a brilliant job capturing that celtic spirit that is still so much of the lives of so many Newfoundlanders, and Brendan Gleeson and his fellow actors play that role so well.

    It's disappointing however, when the film takes a left turn, and becomes not a story of working class Newfies sticking together and forming a union, getting involved in a political campaign to fight for their rights as fishermen and workers, but instead, becomes a story of the unemployed natives begging and pleading for an Oil company to move to their native shores, and if that is not bad enough, instead of just setting up a clinic, they decide it will be better to trick a yuppie doctor from the city to move to their tight knit village. Not only is this a bit far fetched but doesn't really make sense and kind of shows, that not only do the writers not really understand the local dynamics of such a tight knit fishing village, but also displays a serious contempt for their community, making it seem like they are just "local yocals" who can't even fend for themselves, and of course, none of their community ever went to medical school etc.

Two things are already wrong with this picture.

    The first is how this movie, slowly but surely, becomes a 2 Hour long, Oil Company Advertisment, with the local fishermen, not fighting for their native shores and fishing rights, against the Oil Robber Barons, like Rossport Working Class Hero, Pat O'Donnell, but the opposite,they are pleading for these Oil Speculators to move to their town, despite the fact that they will inevitably contaminate their native shores and fuck off to greener shores when they are done stealing the Oil that should belong to the local people, and sucking the lifes blood from the local populace. Again, obvious contempt for the local community is on display by these screenwriters, who are just out to make a buck while insulting the working class people of Newfoundland. It's reminiscent of the old Benny Hill skits with the "drunken Paddy" and the British racist cartoons denigrating the Irish and serving to make them look less "civilized" or "cultured" as their British detractors. This movie more or less shows the same contempt for the struggling fishing communities, who really shouldn't be begging for an Oil company to move to their native shores and poison their waters after stealing the last of their natural resources, but standing up and fighting for their rights.

    Secondly, since when would any self respecting Newfie, want to learn how to play Cricket and trick a yuppie doctor from Toronto to move to Newfoundland?

Two facts remain self evident, ladies and gentlemen :

Charlie Don't Surf.

And Celts Don't Play Cricket.

-- Rory Dubhdara, Radio Rebel Gael

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