Al Purdy Was Here an engaging account of the late...
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Dec 03, 2015  |  Vote 0    0

Al Purdy Was Here an engaging account of the late rebel poet: review


Al Purdy Was Here

3.5 out of 4 stars

Documentary on Canadian poetry icon Al Purdy. Directed by Brian D. Johnson. In limited release. 92 minutes. PG


Brian D. Johnson makes a strong transformation from Maclean’s film critic to documentary director with this engaging account of the late Al Purdy, the colourful rebel poet who became a CanLit star.

A major part of the saga includes the building of his house, the A Frame, while this warts-and-all bio goes back to when writing poetry was a major factor in building identity and Canadian culture awareness. And there’s a stunning surprise near the end.

Performances by Bruce Cockburn, Tanya Tagaq and Sarah Harmer, as well as insights from Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, Leonard Cohen and Purdy’s widow, Eurithe Purdy.

Toronto Star

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