Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Pirate Cinema

Doctorow, Cory (Author)
Macmillan 2013. 384 pages
First published: 2012
ISBN: 9780765329097 (paperback)
9780765329080 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Novel
Book genre: Dystopian

Text Elements:

conflict, setting

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

In a society that functions intrinsically via Internet—school, work, communications, medical benefits—Trent’s (a.k.a. Cecil B. DeVil) passionate but illegal movie re-mastering finally gets the family’s access cut off. Their fate looks bleak. But the story quickly penetrates this dystopian miasma, through fascinating and empowering alternatives. After running away to London and meeting new like-minded friends, Trent/Cecil learns how to live a satisfying life.

Dense, detailed language flows seamlessly, whether describing underground film festivals or the delicious meals that Cecil and his friends cook from dumpster-dive forages: “and two hours later, as we mopped up the last of the custard-drowned sweet suet pudding… piled the plates up and shuttled them into the kitchen, I once again felt like, just maybe, the world wasn’t … irredeemable.”

A large cast of individuated and eccentric characters contributes to the lively message that it takes all kinds to make a village. When a blossoming Cecil is reunited with his family—who have thrived in his absence—the circle is complete. As for society at large, it seems that change must happen more slowly. In the meantime, Cecil will persevere and prevail: “I did make a film. And another. And another. And now, I’ve got to go and make another.”

  •  

    The novel deals with the consequences of intellectual property and piracy issues on individuals, families and society. Resources, such as the NFB’s “Rip! A Remix Manifesto” and the author’s website, can be used to frontload the book or inspire further research.

  •  

    In small groups, discuss the following quotation by Cory Doctorow from The Guardian newspaper: “We get plagiarized, ripped off by publishers, savaged by critics, counterfeited—and we even get our works copied by “pirates” who give our stuff away for free online. But no matter how bad these problems get, they’re a distant second to the gravest, most terrifying problem an artist can face: censorship.”

  •  

    Select a topic that relates to the themes of the book and formulate a research question that considers the different aspects of the world of intellectual property: rights, piracy, creative commons movement. Draw up a research plan. Collect and analyze the data and other resources. Present your findings to a select audience through a spoken or written presentation.

  • To exercise critical judgment
  • To use information
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  • Career Development