Originally Posted: Spring 2010
The Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies National Resource Centers teamed up to offer an international film series, SMAK (See Movies at Kane). The series consisted of Thursday evening film screenings, held each week during winter quarter, and included films from around the world. The final film of the series, Breakfast with Scot (2007), is a comedy hailing from Canada.
Canada is a pioneer in gay rights, and Québec was the first in the world to pass anti-discrimination laws based on sexual orientation, in 1977. In 1999, the Supreme Court of Canada determined that gay and lesbian couples should have the same rights as heterosexual common law couples. As equality issues for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans-gendered individuals increase in social prominence across Canada, this theme became reflected in film. Breakfast with Scot is the coming of-age story of a boy coming to terms with his sexual orientation, set against the backdrop of the heart and soul of Canadian identity—hockey.
Breakfast with Scot is the first film with gay themes to be officially sanctioned by the National Hockey League (the NHL logo and the uniforms of the Toronto Maple Leafs are featured in the film)—no small feat for a sport broadly associated with machismo and brawn. As Scot comes of age, perhaps finally so does Canadian film, transcending language, regional differences, and cultural policy to appeal to audiences the world over.
This project was supported, in part, by funding from the Center’s Title VI grant, U.S. Department of Education, Office of International Education and Graduate Program Services.