I Hate to Lose

This documentary was made in Montréal at the time of a provincial election. The Partie Quebecois was running on a ticket that had English Canada properly scared. Their plan, if they won, was to hold a referendum in Québec, asking the population if they wanted to leave Canada and form a separate country. This had long been the dream of the separatists and had a real chance of happening.

We followed a candidate in the English Riding of Westmount, George Springate, a former policeman who comforted English-speaking Montréalers with his conservative platform. He was not a strong choice in filmic terms because he and his electorate were only marginally engaged in the in the big issue of the day, namely separatism.

The climax of the film is quite good. We are in Springate’s electorate as the results come and he is winning his seat, but the real victory as the television screens around the room shows, is happening across town and it’s for the separatist leader, Rene Levesque.

The character who I thought would address separatism choice in an interesting way and who we were are also following, turned out to be weak. This was Nick Auf Der Meyer. I don’t know how I didn’t realise before shooting how lacking in screen charisma he actually was.