The Rise of Jordan Peterson, a new documentary profiling the controversial psychology professor and Canadian author is getting a very limited release in select theatres, Oct. 6 – one of which is in Langley.
Peterson has sparked both outrage and support with opposition to the use of non-binary terms, opinions on political correctness, and the release of his 2018 bestseller 12 Rules For Life: An Antidote to Chaos.
Director Patricia Marcoccia and producer Maziar Ghaderi began capturing Peterson’s life for a doc detailing his friendship and family bonds with Kwakwaka’wakw carver Charles Joseph.
Marcoccia said the project changed in 2016 when Peterson released a series of Youtube videos criticizing the use of gender-less pronouns.
“I had no idea these videos were coming,” Marcoccia said, “it came as a big surprise. We started filming but I had to switch gears and put what I was doing aside; circumstances became quite different.”
The film is a longer version of Marcoccia’s documentary Shut Him Down, which aired on CBC in 2018. Since the Youtube videos, Maroccia said Peterson’s name has sparked protests, but more importantly, a public dialogue.
“This is such a conversation starter – there is so much to talk about,” she said.
Since completion however, the filmmakers gave struggled with finding a theatrical release for their work.
Screenings of The Rise of Jordan Peterson were recently cancelled in Toronto due to backlash, with some employees citing that they were uncomfortable with the film’s content.
“It’s been an interesting, mixed process,” Marcoccia explained, feeling disapointed with the the film’s backlash. “All sorts of theatres have said it’s unethical to give Peterson a platform, but I feel there is a difference between there being a film about him and giving him a platform. Distributors have told us ‘people won’t pay money to see someone they don’t like’.”
Marcoccia’s and Ghaderi’s production company, Holding Space Films, decided to go with a cinema on demand format so theatres can request screenings for their location.
There are now 11 screenings across the country (half of which are in Ontario) slated for Oct. 6.
Colossus Langley is one of two theatres in all of B.C. to screen the film at 3:30 p.m. this Sunday; the only other one being Cineplex Odeon Park and Tilford in North Vancouver.
“We just had premiere and it is gratifying to see three and a half years of work come together. The model is going well – places like Langley may have chosen it because they had a free slot.”
The director said she had heard rumours of possible protests of the screening in Langley, but said ticket sales have proven there is an interest.
“It’s hard to know – he [Peterson] is being protested less and less. It really only draws more attention to the event,” Marcoccia explained. “The film was made in a way to reflect back the polarizing way Peterson has been covered – there is so much more perplexity. Nothing just fits one certain narrative.”
The filmmakers are now embarking on a tour throughout October to screen the documentary on university campuses across North America, including Vancouver’s Simon Fraser University.
Read More: Colossus Langley screens anti-abortion film
Earlier this year, Colossus Langley was one of two theatres (excluding privately owned operations) in the province that screened the anti-abortion film Unplanned. Colossus Langley could not be reached for a comment on this screening.
For a list of where The Rise of Jordan Peterson is screening across the country, people can visit www.demand.film/rise-jordan-peterson/
More information on the filmmakers can be found at www.holdingspacefilms.com/rise.
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