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Tragically Hip docuseries: Gord Downie’s brother to direct 4-part collection

Few individuals have had a greater front-row view of the Tragically Hip‘s rock ‘n’ roll journey than Mike Downie. However as he got down to make the “definitive documentary” on the band, the brother of late frontman Gord Downie says he discovered that even he didn’t have the complete story.

The filmmaker will direct a documentary collection chronicling the Hip’s ascent from highschool band to Canadian musical icons. The untitled challenge was introduced Wednesday as a part of Amazon Prime Video’s slate of unique Canadian productions.

The four-part collection is ready to be launched in fall 2024 to mark the fortieth anniversary of the band’s formation in Kingston, Ont., Mike Downie stated.

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As he prepares for manufacturing to start out after a 12 months in growth, Downie stated he’s already been shocked by how a lot he needed to study in regards to the Hip regardless of being on the band’s facet since its inception.

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“You assume a narrative, however you’ve identified it passively in a method,” he stated in a video interview from Toronto. “And but, it’s fascinating whenever you begin to scratch the floor a bit deeper how way more info there may be.”

The documentarian has turned his lens on the Hip earlier than within the 1993 live performance tour movie Heksenketel and in 2018’s Discover the Secret Path, which adopted Gord Downie’s efforts to convey consideration to the darkish historical past of Canada’s residential faculties the 12 months earlier than he died of mind most cancers in 2017.

When the Hip’s longtime supervisor, Jake Gold, approached him about making the “definitive documentary” on the band, Mike Downie stated he didn’t hesitate to say sure.

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As a member of the band’s “large household,” he didn’t have a lot hassle bringing key gamers on board. He stated he’s already uncovered revelations in regards to the Hip’s origins by means of pre-interviews with members of the band and its progenitors.

He’s been build up the band’s archives to seek out never-before-seen movies, recordings and images which can be set to be featured within the collection, even enlisting the assistance of two Hip-obsessed “rock ‘n’ roll detectives” to seek out new materials.

The analysis course of has at occasions been emotional, Downie stated. He and his youthful brother have been going by means of Gord Downie’s journals relationship again to the early Nineteen Eighties, and in some entries, you may really feel his presence on the web page.

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“Once I’m studying these, and a few of what he’s writing down on this stream of consciousness, he appears very shut, very shut.”

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The documentary will function interviews with quite a lot of distinguished Hip followers (he wouldn’t identify names) to assist unpack why so many Canadians noticed themselves in a Kingston-based alt-rock band, he added.

He sees the Hip’s arc as a part of a broader Canadian story — one which begins with shiny hopes of one thing higher, however by means of triumph and tragedy, lands in a spot that’s darker however extra true.

“I'm fascinated by charting that growth over the lifetime of the band, and the trajectory of a rustic,” he stated.

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“I see an evolution that tracks in an fascinating method between a bunch of small-town guys from Kingston heading out and never solely discovering a solution to inform their story, however to inform maybe a bigger story.”

© 2022 The Canadian Press


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