2013, 76 minutes, color, Canada
With only an acoustic guitar and a laptop, transgender singer/songwriter Rae Spoon, who prefers the gender-neutral pronoun “they,” embarks on a modest tour across the vast and blue-skied plains of Canada, facilitated by Greyhound buses and generic motel rooms. Delicately observed through Spoon’s contemplative moments, My Prairie Home takes an impressionistic approach to its subject, thwarting the expectations of a traditional music documentary. The film poetically weaves together Spoon’s personal history of an evangelical household back in Alberta, a troubled family life, and a forbidden first love—all of which left indelible marks on their lyrics and are brought to life through playful, music-video–like visual sequences.
Within the first moments of the film, director Chelsea McMullan visually cues the audience to subvert its expectations, preparing us to spend intimate time with her subject, who sees the world in their own way. A particular joy comes from delving into an artist’s world of music and musings; discovering Rae Spoon is this film’s biggest reward.
Director: Chelsea McMullan
Screenwriter: Chelsea McMullan
Producer: Lea Marin
Executive Producer: Silva Basmajian
Photography: Maya Bankovic, Derek Howard
Editor: Avrïl Jacobson
Music: Rae Spoon