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| 10 min

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.

  • 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


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Ages 12 to 17

Arts Education - Visual Arts
Geography - Territory: Agricultural
Social Studies - Social History

After viewing the film, generate a discussion about William Kurelek’s paintings as a reflection of his life experiences as both a Ukrainian immigrant and farmer’s son. Peruse examples from his body of work that suggest that he is an untrained painter. Show how the adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” can be applied to Kurelek’s paintings. Additional information about William Kurelek may be found at this website.

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