Goin' down the Road (1970), Don SHEBIB's first (and perhaps best) feature-length film, is also widely recognized as marking the beginning of the FILM INDUSTRY in English Canada. It takes as its theme the path westwards Maritimers have historically taken - first to Toronto, the "centre" of English Canada, and then "out west" as a source of cheap migrant labour. Documentary authenticity, social realism and artistic sensitivity fuse with Shebib's ongoing filmic pre-occupation with the subject of male friendship and male bonding. Pete and Joey, the film's offbeat, working-class protagonists, fit into the tradition of buddy/loser road movies released in North America after the phenomenal success of Easy Rider in 1969. However, the uncanny precision with which they capture and dramatize a dilemma in which many English Canadians find themselves - how to construct a national identity from an acute awareness of regionalism, class diversity and marginality - link them inextricably with the Canadian experience.
Testimonies to the film's landmark status in the arena of Canadian feature filmmaking (and Canadian culture generally) include its selection in 1992 as one of 7 fiction films shown at the NATIONAL GALLERY OF CANADA to celebrate the 25th anniversary of TELEFILM CANADA, and its inclusion in 1996 as one of 10 films honoured with postage stamps to commemorate 100 years of cinema in Canada.
See also Canadian FEATURE FILM.
Author CHRISTINE RAMSAY
Links to Other Sites
Writer-director Don Shebib heads back Down The Road Again
A news story about Canadian movie director Don Shebib's movie "Down The Road Again," which was produced 40 years after his 1970 classic "Goin’ Down The Road." From thestar.com.
Donald Shebib Is Back On the Road Again
See a video featuring Bruce Cockburn singing "Goin' Down the Road" from the movie of the same name. From the CBC website.
Goin' Down the Road: Revisited
An article about the making of the legendary Canadian film "Goin' Down The Road." From canadianactor.com.
Down the Road Again
The website for Don Shebib's "Down the World Again." See a synopsis and trailer for this Canadian film.
'Goin' Down the Road' actress Cayle Chernin dead at 63
A CTV News obituary for Canadian actor Cayle Chernin.