Brittain, DonaldDonald Brittain, filmmaker (b at Ottawa, Ont 10 June 1928
In his lively, humorous, original and often biting style he portrayed such personalities as Leonard COHEN, Lord THOMSON of Fleet, Ferguson JENKINS, Malcolm LOWRY and the DIONNE QUINTUPLETS. It was Volcano: An Inquiry into the Life and Death of Malcolm Lowry (1976) that firmly established his international reputation.
Perhaps because of his training as a journalist, Brittain selected sensitive, topical subjects. In The Champions (1978) he took on the political careers of Pierre TRUDEAU and René LÉVESQUE. He ruffled bureaucratic feathers with Paperland - The Bureaucrat Observed (1979), chosen documentary film of the year at the Canadian Film Awards and winner of 4 Genies. After the series on Canadian national security, On Guard for Thee (1981), he described the career of a controversial union leader in Canada's Sweetheart: The Saga of Hal C. Banks (1985).
In 1974 he directed his first full-length film on the history of Canadian cinema 1895-1939, Dreamland, and provided the commentary for a follow-up film entitled Has Anybody Here Seen Canada? (1978).