Monday, June 15, 2009

A Love Letter to Canada

What would you do if you had one day, one week, or one month to live?

This is the premise behind the new film "One Week" (now on DVD). It stars Joshua Jackson as a young man diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, who decides to motorcycle across Canada - from Toronto to Tofino. Filled with stunningly beautiful images of Canada along with Canadian icons, such as the Stanley Cup and Gord Downey of the Tragically Hip, "One Week" really is a love letter to my country.

For those palaeo-people out there, Joshua does ride through Drumheller (poses with the World's Largest Dinosaur) and stops at Dinosaur Provincial Park, where he takes a moment to equate his potential fate with that of the long-lost reptiles. The breathtaking shots of the badlands took me right back to 2002-04, when I lived amongst them...

But it was the film's central question that made me think. What would I do with a week to live? I identified greatly with Joshua's character in the film; both the same age (30), same career (teachers), similar look, similar decision making processes... I often found myself intensely emotionally invested in his choices.

But what would I do if I had one week to live?

I don't know. Until I'm faced with that situation, I don't think I could say. But I do have a few ideas...
  • Travel Canada and the USA in the circle - cross Canada, down the East Coast, through Texas, up through California, Arizona, Montana, back to Vancouver.
  • Be alone for a day. Reminisce. Write a book.
  • Spend as much time with family and friends as possible. Laugh.
...I just realized as I wrote this that my first and third point seem mutually exclusive. Hmm. Being selfish and doing what you think needs doing, or sharing your time. Can these be reconciled? Time is precious when there isn't much of it.

I guess that is one of the points of the film. For all my fellow Canadians out there and everyone else around the world, see this movie. Not just to ponder this deep moral question, but also to experience just how damn beautiful Canada is!

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