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Capturing Cooperman: A Not So Private Investigation of Howard Engel



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Grade Level: SrH-Adult
Producer: Reel Girls Media
Closed Captioned: No
Running Time: 48 mins
Country of Origin: Canada
Study Guide: No

Copyright Date: 2008
Available in French: No

Capturing Cooperman: A Not So Private Investigation of Howard Engel chronicles the life and work of the creator of Canada's most enduring crime fiction series and private eye, Benny Cooperman.

Filmmakers capture the story of the man behind the sleuth, from his early days growing up in St. Catharines, Ontario – which would become the inspiration for Benny Cooperman's fictional hometown of Grantham – to his many professional successes.

A founding member of the Crime Writers of Canada, a recipient of the Matt Cohen Prize in Celebration of a Writing Life, and most recently, a member of the Order of Canada, Engel's achievements in Canadian crime fiction writing are remarkable.

Equally as remarkable is Engel's personal story. In 2001 he suffered a debilitating stroke that left him unable to read. “I opened up the newspaper and looked at the headlines, and they seemed to be written in Russian or Serbo-Croatian,” recalls Engel. Colleagues, critics and family recount Engel's struggle to maintain his writing career without the ability to read his own writing. In the face of such a daunting obstacle, Engel himself has remained strikingly pragmatic. “I don't have a lot of ego invested in what I do. The work is the important thing and I try to get on with that as well as I can.”

Amazingly, Engel has managed to do more than just get on with it – not only did he return to writing, but according to reviewers and critics, has never written better than in his most recent work.

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