Greg Crompton’s new feature-length documentary Eddy’s Kingdom is a roller-coaster ride from start to finish.
Crompton focuses his lens on Eddy Haymour, one of the most colourful characters the Okanagan has ever seen.
The film chronicles the former Okanagan resident and his obsession with Rattlesnake Island in Okanagan Lake.
Haymour became famous for his struggle with the B.C. government in the 1970s when he purchased the island and tried to develop into a Middle Eastern themed amusement park.
“It’s a cautionary tale about obsession,” said Crompton.
Eventually, Haymour was forced sell the island back to the province after being institutionalized at Riverview Hospital as part of what Haymour called a government conspiracy against him and his vision for the island.
“I called it Morracan Shadou ,” Haymour said in the film.
The film paints an honest portrait of Haymour — the good, the bad and the ugly.
Almost a year later, when Haymour was finally released from Riverview, he head back to Lebanon for his revenge.
“He grabs a bunch of cousins and he gets a bunch of AK 47s and storms the Canadian Embassy and holds hostages and demands his island money back,” said Crompton.
Haymour then returns to Canada and files what would be a winning lawsuit against the government.
With his settlement money, Haymour bought land south of Peachland across from Rattlesnake Island and built ‘Castle Haymour’ bed and breakfast.
Haymour, however, would never get his beloved island back.
Throughout the 85-minute film, Crompton strives for an honest portrayal.
But Haymour’s personal reaction to ‘Eddy’s Kingdom’ was less than enthusiastic.
“He wasn’t happy in the end. But I think if he was happy, I would be concerned that I didn’t show of all aspects of him and what he has done to people and what has been done to him,” Crompton admitted.
“I think Eddy needs to get over it. I think he was in the right. Certainly what he did, he did some pretty deplorable things that I don’t agree with.”
“In the end, I would say he has just got to let it go.”
Once COVID-19 has run its course, Crompton is hoping to screen Eddy’s Kingdom in Kelowna and Peachland.
For now, though, anyone in B.C. can watch the film online at the DOXA film festival.