Pubdate: Thu, 16 Oct 2014
Source: London Free Press (CN ON)
Page: C4
Copyright: 2014 The London Free Press
Author: Dale Carruthers
Bookmark: (Emery, Marc)

No Puff Piece


CitizenMarc is no pot puff piece.

The documentary on marijuana activist Marc Emery, written and produced
by Canadian filmmaking couple Roger Evan Larry and Sandra Tomc, is
being released Friday in 13 Canadian cities, including London at
Landmark Cinemas.

While Emery is known for his public crusade to legalize marijuana,
don't write this documentary off as a made-for-stoners special.

The well-researched film traces Emery's activism roots back to his
days operating City Lights Bookshop on Richmond St. in London.

It was there Emery frequently clashed with authorities over everything
from refusing to close on Sundays to selling a raunchy rap album that
was banned in Canada.

He was fined, jailed and spent thousands of dollars in legal battles
defending his beliefs. "The extent and depth and commitment of his 
activism before he even
begins on the marijuana fight is astonishing," Tomc said.

Larry and Tomc, who live in Vancouver, had been searching for the
perfect long-form documentary subject, someone who would face
challenges over the years and generate a debate.

"In Marc we found our ideal subject," Larry said. "We always knew that
we had something that wouldn't be boring in five years."

Filming for Citizen Marc started in 2006, one year after the U.S. Drug
Enforcement Agency requested Emery's extradition for selling marijuana
seeds to Americans from his Vancouver-based head shop.

After a lengthy and highly-publicized legal battle, Emery would
ultimately serve a 4 1/2-year prison sentence in the U.S. before
returning to Canada on Aug. 12. "We have to remember that the reason
Marc became a target for the Americans was not because he was selling
seeds to the Americans . . . It's that he was using the profits from
those sales and reinvesting in the legalization efforts in America,"
Larry said.

The 93-minute film doesn't pull any punches.

It delves into Emery's messiah complex (he has compared himself to
both Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.) and explores how Emery
used his celebrity status to bed a slew of young women drawn to his
cause, including his wife, Jodie, who is more than 25 years his junior.

"It's a critical biography, it's not a sort of puff piece or a
celebration of him for his own sake or anything like that," Tomc said.

Emery, now 56, was an active participant in the documentary, which
debuted at the Montreal World Film Festival in 2013.

Larry will be at Landmark Cinemas Saturday to host a
question-and-answer segment following the film.  
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