Filmmaker Matthew Rankin on playing fast and loose with Canadian history in new film The Twentieth Century

Rankin's first feature-length film, The Twentieth Century, is a gonzo satire inspired by the diaries of former Canadian prime minister William Lyon Mackenzie King.
Mackenzie King (Dan Beirne) trains in the fine Canadian art of ribbon cutting in The Twentieth Century. (4:3)

Matthew Rankin is a Canadian filmmaker whose first feature-length film, The Twentieth Century, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2019 and won its award for Best Canadian First Feature Film.

Inspired by the diaries kept by the 10th prime minister of Canada, William Lyon Mackenzie King, Rankin has described The Twentieth Century as "one part Canadian Heritage Minute and one part ayahuasca death trip." 

He joined q's Tom Power on the line from Winnipeg to talk about playing fast and loose with history, why Canadian satire needs a shake up, and how this acidic, gonzo new film helps challenge our notions of national identity.

The Twentieth Century is out now in Montreal and Winnipeg. It opens in Edmonton and Toronto at the end of January.

Download our podcast or click the 'Listen' link near the top of this page to hear the full conversation with Matthew Rankin.

— Produced by ​Cora Nijhawan

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