The Idea of North is part filmed docudrama, part fantasy, part forerunner of music television. Based on the radio play by Glenn Gould, North's montage of words, images and music tells a universal story of the quest for our last frontier. A young man boards a train going North. It is a real train on a scheduled run, yet also a train of mind and mythology. As the journey unfolds, he chats with a seasoned guide, and passes his time in reading, watching the rugged landscape and speculating about his fellow travelers. He encounters four of them in his imagination, sharing their memories and the challenges that transformed their lives in the North. Together, they describe the final playing-out of man's two dreams: Eldorado and Utopia, both unattainable. At the journey's end, he descends to meet his future, walking away from the camera until he disappears into the North, perhaps forever.
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