THE RANKIN FILE: LEGACY OF A RADICAL
Producer / Writer / Director: Teresa Alfeld
Producer: John Bolton
The Rankin File: Legacy Of A Radical is a documentary investigation into the colourful and controversial life of Vancouver lawyer, city councillor and socialist icon Harry Rankin.
Harry Rankin was a larger-than-life character. The colourful and controversial Vancouver lawyer, city councillor, and socialist icon was as worshiped by his supporters as he was reviled by his opponents. Mercilessly red-baited throughout his career, it took him eleven tries before finally getting elected to City Council in 1967. Twenty years later, Harry attempted his greatest feat: running for mayor of Vancouver against young political newcomer – and future premier of British Columbia – Gordon Campbell.
Rankin's fifty-year career was marked with countless celebratory highs and devastating lows. His work ethic was legendary – not even thirty years of surveillance by the RCMP for alleged ties to the Communist Party could slow him down. Since his death over a decade ago, he has left an indelible mark not only on Vancouver’s political scene, but also upon his many colleagues, family members, friends and foes. Harry’s legacy is complicated and stands as a point of controversy amongst those closest to him.
The Rankin File: Legacy Of A Radical will explore the complexity of Harry's legacy through interviews with six key figures from his life: his son, his widow, his ally, his student, his comrade, and his opponent. Throughout the documentary, Harry’s voice is a constant presence via a unique series of historical interviews. In death, as in life, Harry gets the last word.