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The Myth of Evangeline and the Origin of Canadian National Cinema

Zoë Constantinides
Film History
Vol. 26, No. 1 (2014), pp. 50-79
Published by: Indiana University Press
DOI: 10.2979/filmhistory.26.1.50
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/filmhistory.26.1.50
Page Count: 30
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The Myth of Evangeline and the Origin of Canadian National Cinema
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Abstract

ABSTRACT This article examines the oft-repeated claim in scholarship and popular texts that the Canadian Bioscope Company's production of Evangeline (1913) was the first Canadian feature film. Considering the film's reception in the press in Canada and the United States and the cultural history of the Evangeline legend in its many popular permutations and intermedial formats, the article argues that Evangeline has become an origin myth for nationalistic accounts of Canadian cinema, however strained. Emphasis on the Evangeline milestone ultimately obscures more than it reveals about both production practices of the time and the cultural significance of the text, neglecting the film's resonances for regional and Acadian communities, as well as the story's global and transcultural reach.

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