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THE FULLNESS OF TIME: Ukrainian Stories from Alberta

For Teachers

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So much of Canada's history is unwritten, just words in the wind, passed from one generation to another. From family to family. In THE FULLNESS OF TIME, filmmaker Halya Kuchmij, takes hold of these whispers and weaves them into an oral history of Ukrainian immigrants. Halya Kuchmij's main character is Harvey Spak, Albertan writer and filmmaker. He tells us of his grandfather, Alexander Szpak, who comes to Canada from Ukraine in 1900 as part of the first wave of Ukrainian immigrants to settle in Northeastern Alberta. A horse breeder and local veterinarian, Alexander buys a 160 acre homestead for $10 and dreams of a better life for his family.

One wintry night Alexander Szpak's horse-drawn sleigh becomes stuck in the train tracks. There is no warning at the crossing, no whistle in the fog. A train ploughs into the sleigh. Tragically, Alexander's life is cut short

This is just one of the many stories that Harvey Spak narrates about the rural community he grew up in. They are stories of hardship and tragedy, of triumph and celebration; stories about the land that nurtured and shaped those early immigrants.

Directed by Genie-award-winning (Strongest Man in the World) Ukrainian-Canadian filmmaker Halya Kuchmij, "THE FULLNESS OF TIME" captures the riveting, often humorous stories of the settlement and tracks the evolution of this fascinating rural community.


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