| 10 min

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A documentary about the self-taught painter William Kurelek, told through his paintings. There are scenes of village life in the Ukraine and the early days of struggle on a prairie homestead and the growing comfort of family life. In Ontario, Kurelek paints the present life of Canada with the same pleasure he painted the old.

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Kurelek, William Pettigrew, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

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  • director
    William Pettigrew
  • editing
    William Pettigrew
  • producer
    Robert Verrall
    Tom Daly
  • executive producer
    Tom Daly
  • commentary
    John Sims
    William Kurelek
  • animation camera
    Wayne Trickett
    Kjeld Nielsen
  • sound editing
    Pierre Bernier
  • re-recording
    Ron Alexander
    Roger Lamoureux
  • narrator
    Richard Gilbert
  • music
    Robert Fleming

  • Pauliosthe3rd

    Amazing short documentary on Kurelek's life. The film he made of his life and supposed insanity, which his son then finished years later, is available on vimeo. I watched it yesterday and well ... the guy was a genius. My favourite painter hands down!

    Pauliosthe3rd, 14 May 2019
  • cebfleming

    In response to the question concerning the bass clarinet player, my hunch is that it would would have been Rodolfo Masella. He was one of seven musician brothers from Montréal, several of whom were regularly engaged by my father Robert Fleming, the composer of the music in this film, for NFB recording sessions. His principal instrument was the bassoon.

    cebfleming, 7 Sep 2013
  • imundy

    Reminds me of growing up reading "A Prairie Boy's Summer" and "Winter" and a "Northern Nativity."

    imundy, 14 Dec 2012
  • MoJaDaKa

    I came across this yesterday and have enjoyed it greatly and mentioned it to a number of other people. Thank you for posting it — and for making it. Is there any way to find out who the wonderful bass clarinet player was?

    MoJaDaKa, 7 Aug 2011

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