It’s Christmas in  Saskatchewan, Canada, frozen hell to some, blissful heaven to others, depending on which side of the ‘sanity’ line you are on.   As for aging, self-taught, brilliant but never discovered inventor Mike O’Brien, afflicted with dementia, the old farmhouse is Heaven on earth, or more accurately, a gateway to Valhalla,  Paradise for Vikings who do honorable battle while on Planet Earth.   When living on ‘the other side’ of reality, he talks to a his best buddy ‘Winchester’ (a moosehead) putting even more inventions 500 years ahead of their time into his notebooks, and gazing out at a ‘mechanical bird’ buried under the snow, a winged-bicycle he built with his deceased buddy Pete during WWII which achieved flight for a glorious 37 second flight.   His last wish is to take ‘Bertha’ up for another ride, to shake his fist at the Creator in defiance and to shake His hand in bondship.  ‘Pete’, who appears to him as a ghost, beckons the old man to brave the elements and the heights for one last glorious flight. 

But there are real people at home, who try to deal with Mike’s real medical problems.   ‘Good son’ Jack had stayed on the farm to take care of his father, though the real reason why Jack never left was that he was afraid of the world outside Saskatchewan and outside of the realms of strict Christian ‘morality’.   ‘Accomplished son’ Jim left the farm and achieved, according to the few letters he sent home, great success as a lawyer in Toronto.   But it’s time for Jim to come home, bringing up old resentments and hidden fears between himself and his brother Jack, and a war which Mike’s drop in nurse (who wants to be more) seeks to avoid.    Top on the agenda…deciding if Mike should dwell in the ‘Viking’ dream world only he can see, or the real one where he can be comforted and loved in the more traditional Christian sense. 

Though the setting of this Wagnarian prairie tale is contemporary Saskatchewan, the real location where it takes place is…someplace else entirely. 

WARNING:  Low budget claustrophobic sets…on purpose.

Written and Directed by:  MJ Politis.  Producer/DOP:  Tony Towstego.  Featuring:  Walter Mills, Del Sergic, Rick Gorie. 

Trimedia Productions

First aired, CTV 1989 (CND).

50 min. 

Available through:

Long Rider Productions, Celista, BC

MJ Politis