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The Fifth Province

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The search for paradise is one way we express the human journey, a journey marked by turning points, watersheds. At these moments, consciousness dawns: our lives seem to begin for the first time. A curtain is drawn between the future and the past.

Filmed in Canada, France, Latvia, Cyprus and Africa, The Fifth Province examines lives that have been irrevocably changed: Latvians exiled by war in 1944, a German photographer defined by the Nazi inheritance, a French novelist haunted by the death of his father, the plight of a Greek-Cypriot woman in the wake of the Turkish invasion in 1974, a massacre in the French town of Oradour-sur-Glane in 1944.

Behind these stories, ghosts whisper from objects that outlive our mortal selves--stones, buildings and personal belongings--watches, bicycles, snapshots, journals.

With startling imagery and provocative anecdote, animation and optical effects, song and poetry, filmmaker Donald McWilliams draws upon the rich resources of cinema in his search for that happy place: the "fifth province."

2003, 72 min 26 s

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