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A John Hirsch Tribute


Screening Information

May 30 – June 30
TJFF Virtual Cinema

Film Details

Country Canada
Year 1965
Running Time 116 MIN
Language English
Directors Mort Ransen,John Hirsch

Tagged In The Following Film Lists


A double-bill devoted to the legendary theatre director and the early days of the Manitoba Theatre Company.

In the NFB documentary, John Hirsch: A Portrait of a Man and a Theatre (1965), filmmaker Mort Ransen follows John in the early years of the MTC, which he established with Tom Hendry in 1957--and served as its first artistic director--just ten years after he arrived in Canada from Hungary as a 17-year-old Holocaust survivor. Hirsch's infectious enthusiasm is on full display in Ransen's film, as we also glimpse excerpts of the company's children's theatre, early stage performances of young actors such as Martha Henry, as well as the backdrop of Winnipeg's wintry streets.

This is followed by one of the only TV dramas Hirsch directed for the screen, the CBC production of Fifteen Miles of Broken Glass (1967), based on a play by Tom Hendry. Set in Winnipeg during the final days of the Second World War, two friends reflect on their post-war plans and military fantasies as they are confronted with the realities of the war overseas. In addition to its wonderful performances--especially by the young cast that includes Terence Kelly, Heath Lamberts and Gordon Pinsent--this production is also notable for its bold flashback structure, a rare feat for the television medium at the time.

Programme introduced by filmmaker Noam Gonick.


Presentation Details

Co-presented With