Tonight, I watched a pair of amazing home-grown documentaries at the Evans Theatre: the 3rd film in the Warpaths trilogy, subtitled Silver Crosses, for the memento received from the government by mothers and wives of the men killed in action during the First World War; and Shaun Cameron’s Tales from the Eddy, a look back at Brandon’s famed Prince Edward Hotel, whose opening was delayed by the loss of its furniture in the Titanic disaster, and whose ignominious end could have (perhaps) been averted if the list of proposals before City Council had been ordered differently.
Warpaths: Silver Crosses, like its two predecessors, was an amazing look at the effects of a global conflict on the lives of local folks (specifically, the Bowes family of Boissevain, MB). I enjoyed it immensely, as I knew I would. Kudos to Marc George and Graham Street for a fitting capstone to an important series.
Tales from the Eddy was an eye-opening experience. I moved here years after the hotel was demolished; I never knew a skyline with its imposing bulk in it. For the last two decades I’ve heard people reminisce about the Eddy, usually with that faraway look in their eyes, and I must admit, I rolled my eyes a little (inwardly, anyways). It’s just a hotel, I would think. How grand could it be, really?
I learned a lot about Brandon’s heyday in the hour-and-change that the documentary was up on the screen. Dozens of still frames of the hotel’s interior and exterior showed me just how amazing the Prince Edward was in its day. For whatever reason, seeing the skate park that has been built where the hotel used to stand — complete with helpful painted labels marking LOBBY and PLATFORM to indicate roughly the extent of the building’s onetime footprint — struck me quite hard.
Entropy grinds away at us. That could be tonight’s theme, I suppose. But we keep pushing back against it, and I think I like that theme better.
Watching Shaun’s documentary, I felt a strange emotion, a nostalgia for something I never knew. If the Germans don’t have a name for it, surely the French do.