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David Fennario: The Good Fight takes an artistic look at playwright's life

11/15/2014 03:10 EST | Updated 01/15/2015 05:59 EST
A new documentary takes a look at the life of Montreal playwright David Fennario through the lens of his latest play, Motherhouse.  

Co-producer Robbie Hart spoke with All In a Weekend host Sonali Karnick Saturday morning about the decision to frame the Fennario: The Good Fight documentary through the creation of the play, rather than doing a straight-up biographical film of Fennario’s life.

"David’s life story is fascinating, and the idea of telling his life story through the creation of a play gives the whole film a dramatic arc," Hart said.

Fennario grew up in Verdun, a working-class neighbourhood in Montreal that, in the years before Fennario`s birth, played a major role in the city’s contribution to the war effort during World War I.

A photograph of a woman at a British munitions factory in Verdun set the stage for Motherhouse.

The photo reminded Fennario of his own grandmother who worked in a munitions plant. To him, the photograph came to symbolize women who worked in wartime manufacturing in Verdun.

"Verdun was created out of boatloads of Protestants being shipped over from the U.K. to create this working class bastion — not far from Westmount, but on the other side of the hill, the other side of the tracks," Hart said.

Fennario: The Good Fight debuts at the Montreal documentary film festival, RIDM, on Nov. 15. It screens Nov. 15 at 6:30 p.m. and Nov. 19 at 5:45 p.m. at UQAM’s Coeur des Sciences amphitheatre, and at Cinéma du Parc from Nov. 24 to Nov. 27 at 4:45 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Listen to the All In a Weekend interview for more about Martin Duckworth’s Fennario: The Good Fight.

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