Vancouver International Film Festival – 2019 It Was All So Wonderful – a review

Vancouver International Film Festival – 2019

“It Was All So Wonderful: The Everyday Magic of Mary Pratt”

“It Was All So Wonderful: The Everyday Magic of Mary Pratt” is a masterfully crafted documentary by award-winning filmmaker Kenneth J Harvey about the life one of Canada’s foremost artists. An elaborate and highly effective use of film clips records Pratt’s observations about her life and art and includes interviews with her sisters, friends, children and ex-husband Christopher.

Mary Pratt was a strong, gifted and generous person – and an artist from an early age. She loved the play of light and painted beautiful images of her dining room table, flowers and red fruits, always striving to make “the ordinary extraordinary”.  She married Christopher Pratt, another well known Canadian artist, and reared four children during a time when women were expected to stay home and fill the role of traditional housewife.   Although her life was, at times, rustic and difficult, she called on “beds, tables and salmon” to become her muses.

Pratt’s life was not without struggle and pain. She was disarmingly honest in describing the hard times, but was always able to find something positive or humorous to add to her narrative. As she herself recounts near the end of the film, “Well, it has been fascinating. Never a dull moment. It was all so much: it was all so wonderful”.

Judy Robb

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