The world feels increasingly like a scary and dangerous place, free of safe spaces. Though there is one place that is often considered to be one of the safest places: Canada. So in celebration of Canada Day, we thought it would be fun to list out some films and TV shows that reference Canada as a sanctuary or a place to escape from terror. Here’s what we have:
Aftershock is a disaster-drama film that explores the real life earthquake in Tangshan in 1976. It is considered the largest earthquakes of the 20th century by death toll. The film revolves around the character Fang Deng, a survivor of the earthquake in Tangshan.
Years after the traumatic event, Fang Deng decides to marry a foreigner and immigrate to Vancouver, Canada, where she can find solace after living through the terrible earthquake. She chooses to move to Canada in hopes of never having to experience another earthquake. She returns back to China in 2008 after watching the Sichuan earthquake on the news, where she volunteers as a rescuer and finally reunites with her family.
Dawn of the Dead (1978)
A cult-classic and the second film to George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead series, Dawn of the Dead features four protagonists fleeing from an outbreak of zombies. Their original goal is to make it to Canada.
Escaping to Canada from the zombies, a group of people land at a mall on their escape away from the zombies and decide to stay there instead of going to Canada. Fran doesn’t want to because she is pregnant, she thinks the mall is a prison and wants to continue with their plan to go to Canada. At the very end of the film, the zombies manage to get through the barriers of the mall and thus force two of the main characters, Peter and Francine, to escape. They fly away in a helicopter, however it is unknown where they are headed off too.
Based on the 1985 novel of the same name, by Canadian author Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale depicts an American dystopian future following the Second American Civil War. It centers around the character, June Osborne, and other Handmaids, fertile women who are forced to provide childbearing services to families.
The character Offred (originally June Osborne) was captured in midst of trying to escape to Canada with her husband and daughter. She then becomes a handmaid because she is fertile and fertility is coveted. Toronto is one of the main cities dubbed as a “sanctuary”. The character Moira manages to successfully escape to Ontario before she could become a handmaid, where she is given freedom and enters through their refugee program. The series is currently ongoing and can be watched through Hulu and Crave.
Logan is the tenth film installment of the X-men series and is directly inspired by the well received comic “Old Man Logan” by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven. It follows the story of a present day Logan (also known as Wolverine) and an ill Charles Xavier (Professor X) aiding a young mutant girl named Laura from the harm of the Reavers and Alkali-Transigen biotechnology corporation.
After Logan manages to take Laura to Eden (a refugee in North Dakota) and find the other Transigen mutant children, the group decides to escape to British Columbia, Canada. In the end, a huge fight occurs between Logan, the children and the Reavers. Logan dies in the process of fighting X-24. Laura and the other children are then seen continuing onward to presumably the Canadian border.
The Simpsons - The Color Yellow (S:21 E:13)
In the longest running American sitcom and animated program, The Simpsons has many references to Canada. In season 21 episode 13, it features a fictional story about the history of slavery in the United States. The characters are portrayed by the Simpson family and other citizens of present day Springfield.
For a school assignment, Lisa learns about her family’s history upon finding the diary of her great-great-great grandaunt, Eliza Simpson. In the beginning, it seems as if Eliza was a slave owner but in actuality she was part of the Underground Railroad alongside her mother in 1860. It is shown that Eliza’s mother, Mabel Simpson, helped a slave by the name of Virgil escape to Canada in order to be freed from slavery. In the end, Mabel and Virgil manage to successfully escape and get married in Canada. Their son Abraham is revealed to be Bart, Lisa and Maggie’s great-great-great grandfather.
World War Z
World War Z is a 2013 American action horror film based on a 2006 novel of the same name written by Max Brooks. It centers around a zombie pandemic, where the main character Gerry Lane, a former United Nations investigator, must travel the world to find a way to stop the zombies from attacking citizens.
Throughout the film, many countries around the world are threatened by zombie outbreaks. There are, however, a few safe zones, one of which is at Freeport, Nova Scotia. After Gerry finds the cure, he is later seen reuniting with his family at Freeport. It is one of the last and few safe zones during the zombie apocalypse.
Know of any other times Canada was depicted as a sanctuary? Let us know on Twitter.