Two documentary filmmakers are hoping to generate interest in the Magna Carta and in Canada’s constitution.
Presented by the Economic Education Association, Magna Carta: Good Then, Good Now features authors and journalists John Robson and Brigitte Pellerin doing a presentation on the Magna Carta and the importance of telling inspiring stories at home.
Robson and Pellerin, who are married, will each be giving their own talks throughout an evening at the Vic Juba Theatre.
“We will be talking about this project, reclaiming Canada’s heritage, so it will be partly about the Magna Carta, it will be partly about fixing the constitution, which today is a complete mess and we can do better than this,” Robson said. “My wife will be talking about reclaiming it at the dinner table, about how it’s so much more important to tell stories in the home than it is to run political ads and political campaigns.”
In addition to being a documentary filmmaker, Robson is a columnist with the National Post, a commentator-at-large for News Talk Radio 580 CFRA in Ottawa, and an Invited Professor at the University of Ottawa. Pellerin has over 15 years of experience in Canada’s media environment as a writer, producer, filmmaker, and multimedia entrepreneur.
Robson and Pellerin started working on a project about the Magna Carta two years ago, which resulted in the crowd-funded documentary Magna Carta: Our Shared Legacy of Liberty. Their presentations will be focused towards the third annual Essentials of Freedom Conference, which they will be attending on Feb. 26 and 27 in Edmonton.
“We’ve been letting the other side tell all the stories, and their stories aren’t very good, they’re not very attractive stories, but if they’re the only ones telling stories, then they are winning over the culture,” Robson said. “This is all connected with the documentaries and also with the conference and then we thought, well lets have a more public event and lets talk about this because there are a lot of people right now in Alberta who I think are getting an uneasy sense that something is wrong, very wrong in public policy in this country, and these are the people who often haven’t paid a whole lot of attention.”
Robson and Pellerin have collaborated on projects before, such as the radio show Thinking Aloud on Ottawa Radio in 2004, and have also worked on each other’s documentaries in the past. For the documentary on the Magna Carta they travelled together, did a lot of the editing together, while Pellerin did a lot of the shooting.
“She’s now the lead camera; it’s very much Robson/Pellerin production,” Robson said.
In addition to their Magna Carta project, Robson and Pellerin are working on a documentary on Canadian’s right to self-defence, which Robson said is all part of their reclaiming Canada’s heritage project, and to say Canadians are independent, self-reliant, and creative people.
Magna Carta: Good Then, Good Now will be presented on Monday, Feb. 29 at the Vic Juba Theatre at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 each, or $10 for students (18 and under). Tickets are available through the theatre box-office, online at www.vicjubatheatre.ca, or by calling 780-872-7400.
“We want them to tell the story of Canada with a smile,” Robson said what he hopes people will takes away from the Magna Carta presentations. “We want people to understand that the situation is difficult, but not to become discouraged or angry, to say Canada is a great nation, we have a great history and we need to recapture this history, be proud of who we are, and that way we can reclaim our future and we should look upon this as hard work worth doing, we should be happy about this.”