My Prairie Home (2013)

My Prairie Home is a creative documentary by Chelsea McMullan about alt country singer/songwriter Rae Spoon. The doc is essentially the story of Spoon’s life growing up in an abusive, evangelical household on the prairies, and given that Spoon’s songs are largely autobiographical the story plays out through interspersed performances and music videos.

The setting is Alberta’s prairies, but also Greyhound buses, school gymnasiums, roadside diners, and many, many concert venues. Part of Spoon’s story is also the story of Calgary from their perspective. It’s both a fond and fraught portrayal. In the film, Spoon says they continue to return to the prairies because they have a history with the area that is as much theirs as it is anyone else who grew up there, as if they’ve felt they’ve needed to fight for their right to be Albertan while queer.

“It’s kind of like being a ghost,” says Spoon in the doc referring to their earlier experiences navigating gender and not seeing the option to identify as non-binary. “I’m here to tell ya, I exist.”

Review by Lindsay Gibb


Rae Spoon

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Canadian connection

Written and directed by Chelsea McMullan
Calgary, Alberta