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Escape To Canada

4 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

"...a winner..." - Variety

"Canada is hip." - Bill Maher, HBO's Real Time With Bill Maher

Canada used to be cold; now it's suddenly "cool!"

Around the world, Canada is known for its beavers, Mounties and winter climate. But a new image of the country is emerging, one of potent marijuana, gay marriage and new freedoms.

In 2003, gay marriage and marijuana were legalized in Canada on the same day. Coincidence or trend? Either way, suddenly, Canada changed forever and Canadians began enjoying their "new found" freedoms-north-of-the-border of the country that proclaims to be the true "Land of the Free."

Soon, Canadians were not the only ones enjoying the newly forged liberties, as Americans raced across the border to marry same-sex partners and smoke marijuana in peace. A.W.O.L. United States army soldiers arrive seeking refugee status. To many, Canada had become a red-and-white beacon of freedom around the world.

However, the freedoms would not last. Within months, Canada re-criminalized marijuana and jailed pot activists; America's DEA turned up the heat on Canadian pot dealers, even arresting Canada's "Prince of Pot."

In addition, there is suddenly a new campaign to turn back gay marriage-financed with US dollars. Director Albert Nerenberg, the man behind the indie-doc hit Stupidity, explores the advent of this strange and new land of the free in this stunning and high-energy film.

This is the story of the new land of the free...or is it?

About the Actor

Albert Nerenberg is an award-winning actor, director, journalist and founder of the "international cult phenomenon" (CNN) Trailervision. As a filmmaker Nerenberg has been the subject of retrospectives at the Just for Laughs Festival and the Cinematheque Quebecoise. His award-winning documentary Stupidity is the first film to deal directly with the subject of human stupidity. Nerenberg has directed for the Discovery Channel, Dreamworks SKG and the CBC. He is the director of over a 100 spoof trailers and dozens of TV documentaries. Nerenberg also founded the annual World Stupidity Awards.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Disinformation
  • DVD Release Date: June 19, 2007
  • Run Time: 80 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #314,794 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

The legalization of marijuana and gay marriage are not my issues. The world has many bigger problems. But freedom is my issue. This film does a fine job of presenting a perspective on the energetic and relatively effectual fights for individual freedoms in Canada, versus the US where the fights are made to seem rather ineffectual. This is obviously one perspective, but that perspective is developed so well through interviews and film clips that intelligent adults will find it well worth pondering. I found myself motivated to do more study of these issues and to try to better understand Canada, which is terrific!

This is not a film that was made for kids. The film presumes that a few words here and there will remind you that there are reasonable Canadians who do not share its producer's perspectives. Again, that should be enough for intelligent adult viewers who have been educated to try to weigh a variety of perspectives fairly and to sample different points of view, but kids are inclined to cut corners and make snap judgments and not run out and do more reading. This is not to say that it is dangerous for kids. But if you are a parent you should be prepared for discussions on the topics themselves and also on how to go about becoming well-informed on issues in general.

So the film did a great job of presenting a point of view on the fight to defend the spirit of individual freedoms in Canada. It also however was packed with detailed and important information about the sociopolitical situations in Canada with regard to these issues, the legal reasoning there, and about US pressures on Canada that we just don't get from our media here in the US.

Some viewers may find the emphasis on information boring.
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This documentary reviews the changes in the Canadian culture, percieved from both at home and abroad, that has occured since about 2001. From being a "boring" country that nobody really could say anything definitive about, to becoming one of the leading countries for freedom in the world. Canada is starting to stand up to the United States, and is thus getting a reputation for being "cool".

Highlighting the landmark 2003 Summer of Freedom which saw in Canada the legalization of both same-sex marriage and marijuana, the film traces the change in mass acceptance of these controversial areas through the Bush era. Canada seems to have come of age in its standing up to the United States for what it believes is right, in contradistinction to its previous little brother subservience to the American hegemony. In short, The United States is no longer the leader of freedom, and Canada has stepped up to the role.

Certainly Canada has a way to go, but the film points out some historically decisive breaks; and we can even see The United States following the Canadian precedents. From a middle power mouse sleeping next to an elephant, we have become the promised land for freedom, drawing people from around the world to breathe its refreshing air. Best not to forget, however, that Canada has long been the refuge of American dissidents.
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Escape to Canada is a rather interesting documentary about the struggle for gay marriage and the legalization of marijuana use in Canada. The documentary starts out making fun of "boring" Canada; but the rest of THIS tale is anything but boring. We get great interview footage with Canada's "Prince of Pot;" Canadians and how they feel about gay marriage and pot legalization; footage of lawyers who fought for a society with more freedoms and equality and much, much more. The footage is well edited and so the story moves along at a very good pace without ever being dull; and it also points out differences between our political system and our views as opposed to the Canadian points of view and the Canadian experience in general.

We see the Canadian struggles for gay marriage and marijuana legalization; and there is discussion about the medicinal benefits of marijuana that led to one lawyer's being able to make pot legal in Canada. There is footage of gay couples getting married and the interviews with them are well done. In addition, we also get footage from those who oppose same-sex marriage and marijuana legalization in Canada and therefore the film does cover both points of view on these contentious issues.

Ultimately we learn what happens after same-sex marriage and marijuana are legalized in Canada in 2003; and without spoiling it for you I can at least say that I learned a lot!

The documentary also spends a bit of time on how some American soldiers opposed to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have fled to Canada for political asylum.
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Escape To Canada
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