What we’re watching for Indigenous History Month | Ce que nous regardons pour le mois de l’histoire autochtone

Rhymes for Young Ghouls | Rimes pour revenants Dir. Jeff Barnaby, Prospector Films, 2014.

“Written and directed by Mi’gmaq filmmaker Jeff Barnaby, Rhymes for Young Ghouls offers an unflinching fictional account of Indigenous agency in the face of the horrors of Canada’s Indian Residential Schools. Set in the 1970s on the Mi’gmaq Red Crow reserve, known as the Kingdom of the Crow, the film stars Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs as Aila, a tough teenage girl with artistic aspirations and a deep- seated hatred for the sadistic Indian Agent, Popper (Mark Antony Krupa). Popper runs the St. Dymphna’s Residential School and the Red Crow reserve with an iron fist and his heavy- handed tactics mobilize a group of Indigenous youth led by Aila to exact revenge. In the end, Aila’s courageous actions free her consciousness and disrupt the colonial order of Red Crow society. In many ways, Rhymes for Young Ghouls dramatizes the process of decolonization that anti-colonial thinker Frantz Fanon outlines in his chapter “On Violence” in The Wretched of the Earth.” –Sean Carleton,  Rhymes for Young Ghouls  review in Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society (24 Oct 2014).

We Were Children, directed by Tim Wolochatiuk, NFB 2012.

N.B. Warning: this film contains disturbing content and is recommended for audiences 16 years of age and older.

In this feature film, the profound impact of the Canadian government’s residential school system is conveyed through the eyes of two children who were forced to face hardships beyond their years. We Were Children gives voice to a national tragedy and demonstrates the incredible resilience of the human spirit.

Muffins for Granny | Des muffins pour grand-maman, directed by Nadia McLaren, Mongrel Media, 2007.

“Muffins For Granny is a remarkably layered, emotionally complex story of personal and cultural survival. McLaren tells the story of her own grandmother by combining precious home movie fragments with the stories of seven elders dramatically affected by their experiences in residential schools. McLaren uses animation with a painterly visual approach to move the audience between the darkness of memory and the reality that these charismatic survivors live in today.”–You Tube Website.

Nie e Tepueian (Mon cri), Dir. Santiago Bertolino, Les films du 3 mars, 2020.

“Ce documentaire suit le parcours de la poète, comédienne et militante innue, Natasha Kanapé Fontaine, à un moment charnière de sa carrière d’artiste engagée. Pour guérir de la blessure du racisme, Natasha s’est réappropriée sa langue innue et prend la parole dans les médias. Les mots lui font retrouver ses racines et lui insufflent la force pour briser les préjugés. Alors elle engage la conversation. Et au fil de celle-ci, elle questionne ce besoin d’autodétermination, pour elle, mais aussi pour les Autochtones d’ici et d’ailleurs.” —Résumé sur cinoche.com