In The Magnificent Abersons, director Laurence Green focusses on Dutch Canadians, a group for whom identity seems so profoundly unproblematic that they are commonly called Canada's invisible immigrants. Typical of this trend are Green's in-laws -- with the exception of the family patriarch, Karel van den Heuvel. His pioneering spirit and sense of pride in his Dutch heritage echoed Jane Aberson's example. As a tribute to both Karel and Jane, this film attempts, in its own small way, to highlight the historical presence of Dutch Canadians, to help make the invisible visible.
The Magnificent Abersons marks Green's return to the theme of Canadian identity which he first explored in Reconstruction. The film won eight international awards from Leipzig to Ann Arbor, including The John Spotton Award at the 1995 Toronto International Film Festival.
While The Magnificent Abersons visits a place of apparent cultural absence, where identity seems buried rather than displayed, Reconstruction poetically examines the human face of extreme cultural distinctiveness.
Laurence Green works as a director, and is a professor of film production at York University, Toronto.