How to Start Your Own Country

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While you may have been taught in geography class that Australia is the only country that covers an entire continent, Leonard G. Casley would take exception to that -- in 1970, Casley founded the Hutt River Principality, a sovereign nation located on the continent to the north of Perth. The Principality is located on Casley's 75 kilometer wheat farm, and just because no other nation on Earth recognizes it and the population consists only of his family, that doesn't make it any less real to the man who likes to be called His Majesty Prince Leonard I. The Hutt River Principality, along with the Republic of Molossia (covering 1.3 acres in Nevada, its railroad system was purchased at a hobby shop), North Dumpling Island (located off the coast of Connecticut and ruled by Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway) and the New Free State of Caroline (a country without a physical territory dreamed up by artist Gregory Green), is explored by filmmaker Jody Shapiro in the documentary (#How To Start Your Own Country}. Shapiro examines the sometimes whimsical, sometimes serious motivations behind the folks who create their own nations, and ponders what difference (if any) there is between The Hutt River Principality and Palestine and Lichtenstein, two other nations not recognized by a number of major governments. How To Start Your Own Country was an official selection at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for How to Start Your Own Country

All Critics (2) | Fresh (2)

  • In posing the question, what is a country, the documentary also poses related questions. What does it mean to belong or to believe? And how might anyone imagine another way to do either?

    Dec 7, 2011 | Full Review…
  • Shapiro's touch is light, but he raises interesting questions about what it means to belong to a country, and whether or not that is something the United Nations, with all their "rules", could ever really define.

    Jun 14, 2011 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

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