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Painting Red Square

Witness the struggle of the labour-left in Whitehorse to find a friendly watering hole where they can share a glass with their comrades and debate which shade of red is best. Paint, popcorn and a little beer get spilled along the way.

Director's Statement

We grew up in the cold war. As Canadian baby boomers, we witnessed two great superpowers in a nuclear arms race that threatened to destroy the world with the first "battleground" over our heads in Northern Canada - as ballistic missiles faced ballistic missiles in a race to total global destruction. As Canadians, we had a world view - and saw people all over the planet suffering either at the hands of both capitalism and communism.


We grew up as peaceniks, rejecting US involvement in the Vietnam War and cheering revolutionaries like Che Guevera, finding ourselves in left-wing politics, organized labour, the environmental movement and Canada's New Democratic Party. Never fond of hardline communism, we didn't really warm up to "the Ruskies," partly because of our hockey rivalry. And ever-mindful of the perils of society-killing capitalism, we didn't trust the Americans even though they are our friends and military Allies. And when it comes to hockey, we love to see Canada beat the Americans but we love to beat the Russians even more - because they were damn good at our game. When the NDP first formed government in the Yukon in 1985, the conservatives in our community went wild with hyperbolic red-baiting. As lefties gathered Friday afternoons after work over beer, to debrief and solve the world's problems, or just talk hockey, the place got a nickname: "Red Square." Enter Del Young, keeper of the square, and that's how our little film begins.


"Painting Red Square" is the story not just of a beery little corner of the world, but also of a generation. It's about community and comraderie, about friends getting together to debate politics and the issues of the day, and support one another through our own personal struggles, whether they are to do with family, work or life in general.


This film is dedicated to the working people of the world. Wherever you may be, we hope you have a place for friendship and sharing like we have, down at our little Red Square.


View the five-minute short at the Hot Docs Library 

Painting Red Square

Genre: Short docu-comedy

Length: 5 mins

DVD with extra chapters: 20 mins


Order the DVD
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