SUMMARY: A look at the friendship between a young Félix Leclerc and Frank Randolph MacPherson, a Jamaican chemical engineer and university graduate who worked for a pulp and paper company.
WHY IT’S HERE: Martine Chartrand’s ‘MacPherson’ is a latter day animation masterpiece which I fell in love with immediately. Telling the true story of the friendship between singer-songwriter Felix Leclerc and chemical engineer Frank Randolph MacPherson, the film touches on issues of race that were prominently explored in Chartrand’s earlier film ‘Black Soul’ but ‘MacPherson’ is primarily a touching tale of a friendship which is stronger than any negative force it comes up against, ultimately even death. Chartrand’s socially-conscious touch is perfectly delicate, evoking themes without pushing them to the forefront. The contrast of black and white is persistently placed on screen in chess pieces and piano keys but the black and white human beings who interact around them are so warmly loving that any difference in their colour is often barely noticed. Leclerc’s beautiful music is used throughout the film and Chartrand segues superbly from fingers picking a guitar into images of log-drivers. It is in moments like these that Chartrand’s paint-on-glass technique shines most, surpassing even the meticulous perfection of Alexandr Petrov in its hypnotic fluidity.