Within the huge diversity that is modern-day Canada, all non-aboriginal people share an immigrant history. For some, the stories are fresh. For many others, the struggles of distant ancestors have long been lost through the passage of time. In The Saga of Murdo MacLeod, the first film in his animated series on Canadian history from Mike Burns’ four published stories, The Water of Life (Chemin des Cantons, 2009), Montreal filmmaker G. Scott MacLeod fuses rich pencil animation with new digital media to provide a deeply moving depiction of an iconic early Canadian immigrant experience.
Expelled from their land on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland, Murdo MacLeod and his clan are given passage as ballast on a timber ship bound for Lower Canada. It is the late 1830s. Those who survive the voyage arrive in Quebec City with nothing more than axes in hand and speaking only Gaelic amongst the French and English population. Travelling on foot, they make their way to the region near Sherbrooke, ending up on Abenaki territory near Gould. There, with winter fast approaching, they find their only hope for survival in the hands of Canada’s first people.
Written and narrated by Mike Burns, a celebrated Montreal storyteller, The Saga of Murdo MacLeod reveals the history of millions of Canadians whose ancestors found freedom and opportunity only through great sacrifice and the compassion of unlikely allies.
Languages: English and French
Running time: 16:24 B & W & Colour – 2012
16 x 9 Widescreen 1.78
Dolby 5.1 & 2.0