February 8, 2009
My guess is that there were about fifty people witnessing history being made on the night of February 7th, 2009. These people, film makers, film crew, Kipling Film Production members, Kipling Volunteer Fire Department members, local residents and people with good and bad connections with the building, had all gathered at an old farm house to film and watch it burn down. The burning of the house is a very integral part of the story being told in the movie “Rust”, which is currently being filmed in and around Kipling.
For many reasons, and for many people, it was a very emotional event.
Exhilaration, sadness, awe, excitement, closure, contempt, fear and even anger were felt at different times by the different people that had gathered there. To me, it was amazing to watch so much history evaporate, for the most part, in about an hour and a half.
Unfortunately, the house’s most recent human history involved a demented pedophile and the abhorrent acts he performed on his captured victims. Those actions erased the years of family history that had, no doubt, lived out in a home to people that had experienced all of the same emotions as the witnesses gathered to watch it burn.
We (the human race) tend to humanize inanimate objects. The house did not kidnap anyone. The house did not cook Christmas dinner. The house didn’t even have a say in its occupants. But for some who gathered in that yard, that night, the house burning was another step in the healing process for his victims and their families.
For others, it was the end of an era. The disappearance of an icon as one interested observer put it. Yes, the flooring and the rafters, the floor joists and shingles, the windows and the doors are all gone, but like any building, the memories of the past occupants and their activities remain.
I hope that the sacrifice of burning this old house for the movie will satisfy the needs of the families of the victims while honouring the memories of the families that had made the house a home.
Regardless of one’s relationship to the house and its former occupants our (again, the human race) fixation with fire is universal. Talk to anyone and they will tell you how fascinated they are with fire and, as I stated earlier, this fire was amazing.
Not only were we witnessing an awesome display of the power of fire but we were also witnessing the making of a movie. Yes, a movie! Right here! Right now! The reality of this much-anticipated event was brought home in a spectacular way. The scenes that were being filmed during the house burning are the first shots recorded for the movie “Rust”. You know, it wasn’t just real…it was surreal.
I think the last time that I had feelings like that it was during the long weekend in September 2006 during “Saskatchewan’s Biggest House Warming Party Ever!”. I don’t know for sure if it ever left, but it seems like the magic’s back.
“So live that your memories will be part of your happiness.”-Author Unknown.