A feature film about a survival story in the Canadian wilderness that happened nearly a century ago begins a week long run tonight at the Caprice theatre in Duncan.
Brotherhood is based on a true story from 1926 where a group of teenage boys and their camp leaders struggle to survive after a canoe capsizes on a lake in Ontario.
World War I veterans Robert Butcher, played by Brendan Fehr, and Arthur Lambden, played by Brendan Fletcher, are leaders at Long Point Camp in Northern Ontario, guardians of teenage boys who lost fathers in the war and family and friends to the Spanish Flu epidemic that followed.
Butcher decides to take Lambden and 11 of the boys across the lake in a canoe just before it becomes dark.
A summer storm strikes without warning and the canoe flips, sending the group into the water to fight for their survival. Several of the boys and camp leader Butcher drowned.
Director Richard Bell believes audiences will be moved by Brotherhood’s themes of heroism and sacrifice as the camp leaders struggle to save the boys.
He first learned of the story in 2006 when he heard about a memorial service in Kirkfield, on Balsam Lake, for those lost in the incident.
Bell says there are not enough movies being made that tell Canadian stories and that’s why he was enthusiastic about making Brotherhood.
He says Canadians are “uniquely apologetic,” yet our history is “rich and exciting and so dynamic and there are so many true stories from Canada’s past that haven’t even been mined yet.”
Brotherhood gave Bell the chance to work with Brendan Fletcher, who grew up in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island.
Bell cast Fletcher in his first film, Eighteen a few years ago and has plenty of praise for Fletcher’s work.
“He’s such an instinctive actor, he works on instinct and he’s a very hard worker and he brings a depth and a sort of quiet, beautiful pain, to the characters that he plays and that’s very true for Arthur Lambden in Brotherhood.”
Fletcher began working as a teenager and Internet Movie Database says he has 130 television and film credits, including The Revenant, which starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy.
Brotherhood opens tonight (Friday) at the Caprice in Duncan, and runs until Thursday, September 22nd.