A documentary that profiles a polarizing University of Toronto professor is making its way into the Lower Mainland.
The controversial Jordan Peterson has garnered notoriety and sparked protests for critiquing, challenging or opposing issues such as nonbinary identities, gender relations, and climate change in the name of free speech.
While supporters have regarded him as defending freedom of speech, critics deem him as a disseminator of hate speech, transphobic, and part of the alt-right, something which he refutes as he claims he is an individualist.
He has also been associated with the intellectual dark web, or public figures who oppose political correctness or social progressiveness.
The Rise of Jordan Peterson, by director Patricia Marcoccia, is an extended version of Shut Him Down: The Rise of Jordan Peterson, which aired on CBC Docs POV in 2018.
Although the film premiered on September 26, it has faced exhibition challenges.
According to reports, Toronto’s Carlton Theatre cancelled its screening run of the film after an employee complained.
In addition, the filmmakers stated on social media that New York’s Shapeshifter Lab in Brooklyn cancelled an encore screening on October 6.
The film will have a limited release at a handful of Cineplex theatres across Canada.
The Abbotsford News reported that the film had previously been scheduled to screen at Cineplex Odeon Park and Tilford in North Vancouver and Colossus Langley on October 6.
In B.C., the documentary is slated to screen, according the film’s website, in late October and November in Kelowna, Victoria, and Vancouver (at Cineplex Odeon International Village Cinemas)—but only if enough tickets sell.
Meanwhile, the Free Speech Club (originally founded as the UBC Free Speech Club in 2016) is holding a screening of the film from 7 to 10 p.m. on Saturday (October 12) at SFU Woodward’s (149 West Hastings Street).
The event is part of a North American tour of universities that the filmmakers have embarked upon.
The event will include a post-screening panel discussion with Marcoccia and producer Maziar Ghaderi. Tickets are listed as US$23 at the door, with proceeds going to the filmmakers.
Peterson spoke in Vancouver at UBC’s Frederic Wood Theatre on February 15, 2018, and returned for a speaking engagement at Queen Elizabeth Theatre on December 5, 2018.
The Georgia Straight has contacted SFU and Cineplex for comment.