Canada’s Diverse Cultures

A selection by Albert Ohayon


This film recreates the true story of Tom Sukanen, an eccentric Finnish immigrant who homesteaded in Saskatchewan in the 1920s and 1930s. Sukanen spent ten years building and moving overland a huge iron ship that was to carry him back to his native Finland. The ship never reached water.

From the playlist : Canada’s Diverse Cultures

What would drive a man to spend 10 years of his life building a ship in the middle of the prairie 17 miles (27 km) from the nearest body of water? In the case of Tom Sukanen, it might have something to do with returning to his native Finland to be reunited with the wife and baby he left behind. Shipbuilder explores the fine line between genius and madness as well as the great loneliness that afflict immigrants regardless of where they are.

— Albert Ohayon

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Film Credits

Stephen Surjik
Charles Konowal
Charles Konowal
executive producer
Michael Scott
Ken Mitchell
Norm Sawchyn
sound editing
Carol Wenaus
Jean-Pierre Joutel
Kristjana Gunnars
Marcelle Nokony
Greg Zuck
Sasha Konowal
Galen Wahlmeier

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    “This is one of the saddest things I've ever seen :(” — Pixelpump, 25 Aug 2010

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