Calamity, a Childhood of Martha Jane Cannary
Rémi Chayé | France, Denmark | 2020 | 82 min | FR | CS, EN sub
‛What does it mean to be a boy? And what does it mean to be a girl?’ asked the director of the popular film Long Way North (2015) after seeing a documentary about a famous woman from US history named Martha Jane Cannary, who was better known as Calamity Jane. It is the childhood of this unique personality and the events that shaped her (back then) considerably nonconformist personality, which director Rémi Chayé portrays in this artistically captivating film. Along with her father and siblings, little Martha travels to Oregon, their dream land, where there is work and a good life for their entire wagon train. But their journey gets complicated when her father is injured in an accident. Martha sees a logical solution – she takes over the reins of the family wagon. However, such a thing is inconceivable for the wagon master, so Martha learns lassoing and riding skills in secret so she can trump the wagon master’s son, who was put in charge of the wagon instead of her. But she’s accused of stealing precious items and loses the support of the wagon train and her family. Martha isn’t one to stand such injustice; she sets out to clear her name and earn the respect she deserves. The film won the Annecy Cristal for Best Feature Film.