49 minutes – Docudrama
Canadian distributor: National Film Board of Canada
One of the best English-Canadian short docudramas made in the 1960s, The Best Damn Fiddler is a realistic account of an itinerant bush worker (Chris Wiggins) living in the rural area of the Ottawa valley who can’t make enough money to feed his large family but nevertheless rejects government handouts. His tough self-reliance and hard-drinking lifestyle is viewed with compassion as his family ekes out an existence in a life of isolation and deprivation. The oldest daughter (Kidder in her first screen appearance) eventually leaves home to find work and a better future. It was named Film of the Year at the 1969 Canadian Film Awards as well as winning for Non-Feature Direction, Non-Feature Screenplay, Non-Feature Actor, Non-Feature Cinematography, Non-Feature Editing and Non-Feature Art Direction.