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A Vision at the Margins: Understanding Bliss

Fri, May 12 / 7 pm
Directed by William D. MacGillivray
1990, Canada, 80 mins

Introduced by Bill MacGillivray.

Two academics try to keep their affair a secret, as difficult a task in St. John’s, Newfoundland, as it is to find a place to make love. On one level Understanding Bliss is an intimate drama of misalliance, but MacGillivray refuses to play a safe hand. Shot originally on video to facilitate long takes – a dazzling example takes viewers across the street and down sidewalks to a building interior where a theatre class is in session – the technique also supports the film’s intimate scenes, romantic and familial. The film also offers a marvellous sketch of St. John’s topography and a stunning performance of a Mummers Play, a traditional Newfoundland folk practice adapted from the Old World.

Plays With:
Linda Joy / Directed by William D. MacGillivray & Linda Busby, 1985, Canada, 20 min / In a stark testimonial of radiant courage, a young woman, Linda Joy Busby, addresses the viewer directly about her terminal illness.“One of the most moving films he has ever made. A perfect film.”
-Peter Harcourt, Point of View

Reviews

Of the dozen or so films I saw at the Toronto International Film Festival, Understanding Bliss is certainly among the most distinguished. - Robin Wood, Cineaction
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ABOUT US

The Winnipeg Film Group is an artist-run education, production, exhibition and distribution centre committed to promoting the art of cinema.
our location

We’re located in the heart of Winnipeg's historic Exchange District in the Artspace building. We are across the street from Old Market Square at the corner of Arthur Street and Bannatyne - one block west of Main.

The Winnipeg Film Group is located on Treaty 1 Territory and on the ancestral lands of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene Peoples and in the homeland of the Métis Nation. We offer our respect and gratitude to the traditional caretakers of this land.

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