This animated film by Martine Chartrand (Black Soul) recounts the friendship between a young Félix Leclerc and Frank Randolph Macpherson, a Jamaican chemical engineer and university graduate who worked for a pulp and paper company. An inveterate jazz fan, Macpherson inspired Leclerc, who wrote a song about the log drives and entitled it “MacPherson” in honour of his friend. Paint-on-glass animation shot with a 35mm camera.
Ages 14 to 18
English Language Arts - Quebec Literature
History - The Depression Era
Media Education - Film and Video Production
Social Studies - Communities in Canada/World
MacPherson is a study in two cultures coming together to create something entirely new. Ask students to consider the symbolic use of black and white (i.e., boxing match, chess set) in the film, as well as that of the recurring image of flowers. What is the significance of the final letter from Félix? What do we learn about his relationship with Frank, his feelings about music and the emotional challenges that come with friendship?