Gregory Nixon

1999, 04:30 minutes, B&W, English and Czech (with English subtitles)


Josef is a Czech writer living in Exile in Canada. After a life of struggle against successive regimes in mid-century Czechoslovakia, Josef finds himself trying to teach Edgar Allen Poe to an English class at "Edendale" College in Mississauga, Ontario. The kids just don't seem to be getting it. Not having experienced a life of fear, they prefer horror films to the exquisite poetry of The Raven. But there's a student in the front row...

The film is based on the writings of Josef Skvorecky; a cinematic detail from his acclaimed and award winning novel, The Engineer of Human Souls. With a look reminiscent of early Czech new-wave cinema and a bilingual script (English & Czech with English subtitles)
Poe draws on the tradition of European art-house films for a glimpse into an environment which is distinctly Canadian. In the struggle of the exile caught between two cultures, the idea of home can be elusive.

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