Magnus would have felt honoured by the outpouring of praise from friends and colleagues on his blog, on his Facebook page, on the Doc list serv, and in the media. He was a public kind of guy, sharing not only his insights into documentary practice and his love for film in general, but also his more personal life, including the last 5 years as he faced the challenges of illness.
Those five years were incredibly productive, despite the difficult context for documentary filmmaking. His work reached a new maturity and his last film, Ma vie réelle, could well be seen as one of his best.
While he knew the cancer that reared its ugly head back in 2007 might return, it was only in the last 6 months that he really began to feel its effects. There were the twice or 3 times yearly scans to deal with and the worry of leaving his family and a young daughter, but otherwise he was a happy and fulfilled human being until the end, living life to the fullest, aware of every precious minute.
Nowhere was that more evident than in the fréquent forays he made onto Quebec’s rivers, whenever he could find even a few days, often enticing colleagues away from their desks and editing rooms.
We too, his family, have been consoled in our loss by the knowledge that Magnus is being remembered, his work being critically examined, tributes being planned and a filmmaking award being set up in his name.
This blog, which Magnus began 5 years ago seems a fitting place to post some of the more personal letters and tributes from friends and colleagues, those which will never make it into newspaper or academic articles. They reveal the whole person behind the filmmaker, the friendships he valued, the passionate, crazy guy he was.
We hope you enjoy them!