TIFF Bell Lightbox 4 Thu, May 3, 2018 12:15 PM
Film Info
Country Listing:Canada
Festival Info
Festival Year:2018
Program Category:Focus On John Walker
Film Subjects:British Isles
Indigenous Cultures & Issues
Race & Racism
Cast/Crew Info
Director(s):John Walker
Producer(s):John Walker
Kent Martin
Andrea Nemtin
Executive Producer(s):Bill Nemtin
Editor(s):Jeff Warren
John Brett
Writer(s):John Walker
Cinematography:Kent Nason
Composer:Jonathan Goldsmith
Sound:Alex Salter
Jim Rillie


"History would be an excellent thing, if only it were true," claimed Tolstoy. Master documentarian John Walker takes us on an epic adventure involving racism, cannibalism and a cover-up by British authorities that credited the wrong man with the discovery of the Northwest Passage. The film is based on the lives of Dr. John Rae, explorer for the Hudson's Bay Company, and Sir John Franklin, British Royal Navy officer and leader of an ill-fated 1840s Arctic expedition. Stunningly cinematic, the film follows a trail from London to the Orkney Islands to Nunavut, elegantly slipping between past and present, drama and documentary, observational and self-reflexive cinema, to present the forces that made Franklin a hero and banished Rae to the margins of history. A cast of actors—as well as Inuit statesman Tagak Curley, author Ken McGoogan and the great-grandson of Charles Dickens—join the director to unravel an historic fraud and set the record straight. Lynne Fernie

Additional Information

Screen Anarchy - "Hot Docs 2018 Curtain Raiser: From M.I.A. To MeToo"

POV - "The POV Interview: John Walker, Part One"

POV - "The POV Interview: John Walker, Part Two."