Doc charts Atwood's unconventional book tourThe Canadian Press
Director Ron Mann, left, filmed author Margaret Atwood's unusual, eco-conscious book tour for her latest work, In the Wake of the Flood. (Sphinx Productions, 2010)Embarking on just another book tour was not going to cut it for literary icon Margaret Atwood.
The celebrated Canadian writer was approaching her 70th birthday and had just published her latest novel, The Year of the Flood, a dystopian vision of a pandemic that wipes out most of human life.
Her 2009 tour of the U.K. and North America would require something more ambitious and meaningful, she decided. Perhaps some props and amateur local thespians.
Filled with humour, heart and an earnest eco-conscience, the documentary In the Wake of the Flood chronicles Atwood's unusual book tour.
The author incorporated a series of grassroots theatrical productions based on The Year of the Flood into her book tour and used the tour to raise awareness of the preservation of bird habitats and promote Birdlife International, an alliance of bird conservation groups.
"What attracted me to filming Margaret was, here was an artist who was using her celebrity status for a cause — it wasn't to sell more books," says director Ron Mann.
"And birds, in particular, I had no interest in, personally, because I live in downtown Toronto. I was completely oblivious to birds. But then, when you start noticing birds, and then you realize they're part of an invisible landscape, they're part of biodiversity."
Mann's previous docs include Know Your Mushrooms; Grass; and the 2003 film Go Further about an environmental awareness campaign organized by actor Woody Harrelson.