Editors Blog SummerThe fields near Norquay might be featured in a movie by Ryan Boyko about the internment of Ukrainians and other east Europeans in WWI.
Pictures of east European Canadians being forced into prison camps during WWI require a feat of imagination for me—see http://www.infoukes.com/history/internment/gallery/. When I first moved to Saskatchewan in 1994, I was deeply moved by the histories of European peoples moving to the prairie under extraordinary difficulty to build new lives. I was, and remain, in admiration of the magnitude of labour they were willing to perform to gain and sustain their freedom.
So I must imagine the deep sense of loss, betrayal, and anger that must have been at least a temptation for those immigrants, mostly Ukrainian, who were gathered at gun point by the same government that had so short a time before welcomed them as citizens.
Ryan Boyko, the actor and filmmaker who is scheduled to start filming Enemy Aliens, the story of the internment, said he had to make the same imaginative leap as he did his research. His tale of two brothers caught in the internment as soon as they came to Canada from Europe attempts to capture the hope and bitter disappointments that east Europeans felt in that time.
Curiously enough, the film will also capture something quite close to Prairies North. In scouting locations for the prairie scenes, Ryan immediately thought of Norquay, our magazine’s home town. He has family connections to the area but more importantly the landscape is exactly what he’s looking for.
“There are places in the Norquay area,” he said, “that are uncluttered and look a lot like the landscapes from 100 years ago.”
Here’s hoping that the final shooting script will include a stop by Norquay.
To learn more about Ryan Boyko’s film, check http://www.armisticefilms.com/.