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BFI Flare Film Festival Review: My Prairie Home

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My Prairie Home is a music documentary about the Canadian-singer Rae Spoon. Though born a female, Rae now prefers to go by the gender neutral pronoun of “they” rather than “he” or “she”. This film follows their tour and looks at her life so far, including her preference of appearing to be gender-neutral.

Because this film feels so heavily personalised and centred on Spoon’s feelings and beliefs, one could be mistaken for thinking she directed it. Instead, it’s helmed by Chelsea McMullan, director of Mise en Scène and Deadman. It’s put together in a dreamy, artistic and slightly pretentious kind-of way and, I must confess, reminded me of a film-school project (well, a very high-end one.) 

Spoon comes across as likable and interesting and offers her experiences to the camera in a way that is both unapologetic and free from in-your-face confrontation. The calmness of the film may well be its greatest strength. The documentary didn’t quite manage to hold my attention for its entire running time, which isn’t a good sign considering it’s only 77 minutes, but maybe that’s just me. This is a carefully crafted and heartfelt film that both McMullan and Spoon deserve to be proud of.

My Prairie Home (2013), directed by Chelsea McMullan, was screened as part of the BFI Flare Film Festival 2014. 

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