Sunday, January 23, 2011

Hudson's Bay

Last week, in class, we watched “Hudson’s Bay” video directed by Alvin Rakoff.  In the film, three American soldiers run into three Canadian traders.  I found it interesting in the video how the two nations were portrayed very differently.  The Americans were very bold in declaring where the official border between Canada and the United States was according to the treaty.  On the other hand, the Canadians are portrayed as laid back and almost crafty in the way they reclaim their land. 
Throughout the movie, the soldiers keep returning to the matter of the treaty and insisting on stating the physical border of their country while the traders cunningly bribe them to change their minds.
All kinds of typical stereotypes appear as the movie unfolds.  Ignorance and major assumptions are made from both sides of the border.  The Americans start it off by rudely greeting the Aboriginal chief as though he were a child and then attempting to swindle them all out of house and home in a poker game.  The Canadians retaliate by bribing them with meat until they change their borderline and pretending not to know how to play poker, only to con the soldiers instead.
In the end, both sides leave feeling like they have accomplished something, although everything has remained the same.


  1. The date the movie was made really shows in the performance doesn't it? We wouldn't be caught dead intentionally immortalizing those stereotypes in film nowadays... even these attitudes still exist and these stereotypes still live on. Interesting how the end of the story is still the same though. Even today, when both sides bring all their stereotypes, assumptions, biases, and preconceptions to the table... everything always remains the same.

  2. I think that the Canadians didn't actually have any power to negotiate with the Americans, as they were traders, not diplomats. To me, that makes the fact that the Americans thought that they were negotiating really funny, and shows the Americans in an even more negative light.

    -Matt N.