What is the difference between fact and fiction? This is the question we were left with after enjoying the movie Maudie on a Sunday afternoon at the Plaza Theatre in Kensington.
We were sitting enjoying a pot of Oolong tea at a cozy tea house on a Sunday afternoon, when we realized we were only a few minutes walk away from a showing of the Canadian film, Maudie. It was on our list of movies to see so we rushed over to the old theatre, bought some reasonably priced popcorn and settled into the old red seats, well-worn from years of use with just a handful of other movie goers.(spoiler alert!)
The plot of the movie was slower than I would have liked, kind of like life sometimes I suppose– but the panoramic views of the Bay were pure eye candy. Apparently, the film was shot in Newfoundland and Labrador, not Nova Scotia. Both characters were well played, although it was difficult to watch the scene when Maudie was struck by her soon- to- be- husband. The overall tone of the movie that we were left with was that there was love between the two. We left the Plaza feeling a wee bit sad and eager to learn more about Maud Lewis. Doing a bit of Googling, we soon learned that another biographer of Maud’s life took a completely different angle on her life, he claimed that her husband was more abusive than the movie portrayed. The demise of both characters was darker than the film revealed. For instance, Everett was murdered during an attempted robbery on his property in 1979 and Maud may have died of malnutrition and not emphysema as the film depicted. But who can really understand the inner workings of a marriage? Can anyone truly know what goes on in the dark recesses of a couple’s relationship? I am a romantic. And so I choose to believe she was loved, as she utters on her death bed in one of the final scenes. The separation of fact and fiction about this artist’s life is what makes the writers of history and biography true artists, they must take bits and pieces to make it into a whole narrative story that in the case of film, must follow a storyline, and in the case of Maudie, the writers and director have definitely done a good job of it.
Want to learn more about Maud’s life? Here is a link to a huge book about her. http://www.lancewoolaver.ca/the-heart-on-the-door/
Click on the link below for a clip from the NFB of Canada,