Canadian filmmaker, Guy Maddin presents My Winnipeg, an irreverent, witty, personal and sometimes hilarious homage to the hometown he loves and loathes in equal measure. Described as a docu-fantasia, My Winnipeg merges re-enactments, archive, still photos and animation to recreate the filmmaker’s early years living with the dominant and fearsome Mrs Maddin , here played by the original femme fatale, Ann Savage, to his later attempts to leave the town that has cast its icy spell over him for his entire life. Commissioned by the Documentary channel in Canada the only stipulation he was given for making the film was that it had to be ‘enchanting’. Taking this as his starting point Guy started out on an odyssey that would lead him to the true meaning of home and locates for the viewer the magic spots that exist in Winnipeg; where pedestrians would rather use back lanes than front streets, where the homeless hide en masse on the rooftops of abandoned skyscrapers and where a strange civic law requires you to offer a room for a bight to any former owner or resident of tour current home.
This film whilst focusing clearly on Winnipeg is a visual exorcism of the town, memories and peoples for the narrator.
It comprises of a dynamic voice over and some imaginative newly filmed footage, mixed with that from the archives. Towards the end the film clearly runs out of steam, despite its short running time. Becoming a crazed imaginary spiel of random thoughts by Guy Maddin it loses some of its charm and ‘enchanting’ feel. It represents an interesting personal take on the documentary genre yet sadly not a standout experience.