It is disaster week on the CBC and CBC Newsworld. It begins Thursday September 10th at 8 P.M. on the CBC’s Doc Zone with Battle for a Continent, a documentary on the defeat of the French on the Plains of Abraham. Later on, the national network will air documentaries on 9/11 and Lockerbie. Battle For A Continent, a documentary adapted from the massive Canada: A People’s History is, to sort of quote FUX News, fair and balanced.
It is difficult not to look for bias in a documentary about your own history. I doubt there is any here. What really pissed me off is this: Would it have killed narrator Anne Murray McDonald’s to learn how to pronounce the French names correctly? This is a frequent point of contention with the CBC which leads one to believe there are a lot of old generation Donald Cerise still working there.
Battle For A Continent is a good documentary. Then again, its source, Canada: A People’s History was excellent to begin with. The show recreates the events of the Battle for Quebec with reenactments and actors wearing period costumes and acting out diary entries and what not. It is fun to watch.
There are a lot of things one can nitpick about as this is a historical documentary. One thing that works is giving identities and stories to some soldiers on both sides.
Murray McDonald’s generally does a good narrative job in this documentary. However I am curious as to how many takes it took to get the show’s introduction in the can. Each sentence is a new camera angle, giving it a William Shatner every-single-word-feel-to-it.