Format: 16mm Colour
Runtime: 86 min
Tom Murphy (Michael Jones), a high-profile Vancouver television journalist, has reached the zenith of his career as the host of a national show probing humanitarian and moral issues. His persistence and professionalism often see him ferreting out the facts from his interview subjects. But when Tom interviews Harry (Richard Boland), an old friend from his hometown of St. John’s, Newfoundland, for an episode on failure, he digs too deeply in his on-camera questioning; shortly after the segment airs, Harry kills himself.
Tom goes into shock and takes an imposed vacation. Upon his return, he is assigned to produce a documentary in which he interviews average Canadians at train stations across the country. As the train, a mythical symbol of Canadian unity, drifts through the magnificent scenery of the country, Tom meets a number of frustrated, unemployed people who force him to confront his values and beliefs. Gradually, as Tom gets closer and closer to his East Coast home, his life and the things that are important to him become clearer.
William D. MacGillivray’s first feature established him as one of the finest young filmmaking talents of his time. It is a quiet, meditative "rail movie" that penetrates the odd combination of displacement and attachment that constitutes, for most Canadians, a kind of identity. Reminiscent of early Wim Wenders films, Stations is an absorbing examination of distinctly Canadian angst and the modes by which our culture expresses it.
Stations premiered at the 1983 Toronto Festival of Festivals (now the Toronto International Film Festival®) before being released directly to pay-TV.