‘Canada: The Story of Us’ miniseries review
By Jerrison Oracion, Senior Columnist
Canada: The Story of Us explores the long and interesting history of Canada and the various people who are important in that history.
Canada: A People’s History, which first aired from 2000 to 2001, is, in my opinion, the most interesting miniseries about the history of Canada. It has detailed explanations about the country, features famous Canadian historical figures talking to the audience, and was shown in many schools’ social studies classes. In celebration of the 150th anniversary of Confederation, CBC decided to remake the miniseries and show it in abridged form to create The Story of Us.
The miniseries begins with an introduction by Justin Trudeau, and he says that while the miniseries’ history shows the creation of the country, “there are dark chapters in our past that we’ve only begun to confront.”
The first episode is about early Canada before Confederation and the first voyagers who discovered the country. It chronicles Samuel de Champlain discovering indigenous peoples and introducing modern (at the time) technology that would change history forever. The episode also talks about the women during that time, Pierre-Esprit Radisson and Médard de Groseilliers opening the Hudson’s Bay Company, and James Wolfe during the War of 1812.
The miniseries has modern filmmaking, allowing it to have a lot of action. However, the action causes it to have violent scenes that make the miniseries almost as violent as Game of Thrones.
The descriptions of events in The Story of Us are explained at a very fast pace. The aerial shots are sped up at a very fast speed, the conversation is sped up with fast cuts, and they fast-forward events with montages. While I understood all of the events in the episode, a typical viewer might be confused as to what is going on.
The narrator of the miniseries is the same person I have heard in various commercials that involve the Government of Canada. While the miniseries does include historians explaining the events that are shown, most of the people interviewed are famous Canadian people, including Ann-Marie MacDonald, former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson, Christopher Plummer, Paul Gross, Tatiana Maslany, and Georges St-Pierre. The interviews are like a making-of special feature on a DVD, where various actors talk about the material that they worked with , and some of them could have been in the dramatizations. Maybe in later episodes, the miniseries will interview people who were involved in the events and the relatives of the people who were involved.
Canada: The Story of Us shows the history of Canada at a fast pace and with a lot of action. It airs Sunday at 9:00 p.m. on CBC.