Category Archives: imagineNATIVE

October 22

imagineNATIVE 2017: The Road Forward

There’s been a great deal of discussion in recent years about the past and ongoing injustices suffered by the indigenous community. As there should be. From suicide epidemics to systemic racism to the alarming number of missing and murdered Aboriginal women to the over-representation of Aboriginal men in Canadian prisons, the challenges of the First […]

October 22

imagineNATIVE 2017: Kayak to Klemtu

Teenagers. They think they know it all, don’t they? They have this unbearable self-righteousness. They can take a motorboat to testify about the dangers posed by oil tankers and not feel a little hypocritical, not even a bit. The big picture is missed. Kayak to Klemtu, Zoe Hopkins’ first feature, finds itself in the same […]

October 22

imagineNATIVE 2017: Juliana & the Medicine Fish

Director Jeremy Torrie’s Juliana & The Medicine Fish adapts the popular Young Adult novel by Jake MacDonald, with both men co-writing the adaptation. The film tells the story of young Juliana over a summer at her father’s fishing lodge following the death of her mother. The two do not have the best relationship to begin […]

October 21

imagineNATIVE 2017: Our People Will Be Healed

Alanis Obomsawin is one of Canada’s most prolific filmmakers. At 85 years-old, and with an astounding 50 films under her belt, she has been an integral figure in promoting both indigenous culture and the issues that impact First Nation communities across the land. Last year, with her film We Can’t Make the Same Mistake Twice, […]

October 21

imagineNATIVE 2017: Laundry

Kids ruin everything. They especially ruin sex. Carly is a happily married woman who just wants 10 minutes alone with her husband for some quality time. He’s definitely on board for the same. But try as they might – and they do try – the kids are always interrupting. Eventually Carly finds pleasure rather by […]

October 21

imagineNATIVE 2017: Brown Lips

Writer–director Nakkiah Lui’s Brown Lips is a wonderful little short charged with teenage sexuality, rebellion, and taboo. As Kiera prepares for her debutante ball by ballroom dancing to Tchaikovsky’s Waltz of the Flowers from The Nutcracker with her cousin Des. Their attraction to each other is palpable, communicated through brilliant bits of imagery, shot selection, […]

October 21

imagineNATIVE 2017: Indictment: The Crimes of Shelly Chartier

NBA star Chris Anderson claims that he had no idea that the aspiring model that he met online was 17 when he flew her out from California to spend the weekend with him. The even bigger surprise came when the pair realized that they had never in fact spoken to each other before meeting face […]

October 21

imagineNATIVE 2017: Mankiller

Wilma Mankiller: you may not know her name, but you should. She was the first woman elected Chief of the Cherokee nation, but her story is more complex than any list of her achievements would imply. Born to a Cherokee father and European mother, she was raised with sense of her culture but was influenced […]

October 20

imagineNATIVE 2017: Zaasaakwe

Zaasaakwe is more moving essay or tone poem than a narrative or documentary. The film juxtaposes native dancers adorned in traditional dress with young people walking the streets and riding skateboards. The film draws parallels between the struggles and hardships of the past and the strengths of the new generation. The film isn’t even five […]

October 20

imagineNATIVE 2017: Demons

Once able to see in dreams, and be comforted by, his loved ones who have passed on, a young man is now plagued with nightmares. Suffering terrifying attacks from a dark figure, the attempts to stop these night terrors on his own. Turning to drink won’t help him forget though, and he is at his […]

October 20

imagineNATIVE 2017: No Reservations

My immediate reaction to the first five seconds of No Reservations was, “OH NO, it’s a satire! Well, let’s see”. Because there may not be a genre that can miss as badly as satire, and No Reservations is unabashed. It introduces Peter and Marilyn Whiteman, and is about as reductive as one could imagine, perhaps […]

October 19

imagineNATIVE 2017: This Wild Season

A seemingly normal bickering between a middle-aged man (Todd Thomas Dark) and a teenage girl (Hayley Ault) as they head out to a camp site becomes a bit more sinister as their true purpose becomes more evident. Are they father and daughter or warden and charge, and what exactly is in the garbage bags they […]

October 19

imagineNATIVE 2017: Thirza Cuthand is an Indian Within the Meaning of the Indian Act

Thirza Cuthand is an award-winning filmmaker who has wrestled with questions of identity and belonging for most of her life. In her lastest short film, Cutland takes audiences on a personal journey as she details the struggles of being a light-skinned Cree woman in Canada. Born with a fairer complexion than those in her family, […]

October 18

imagineNATIVE 2017: Twilight Dancers

Far too often, an indigenous community makes the news because it’s dealing with a suicide epidemic. Cross Lake, Manitoba is one such community. In 2016 there were 140 suicide attempts in Cross Lake within a two week period. Six people were successful. Those staggering numbers are even more devastating when you consider that the population […]

October 18

imagineNATIVE 2017: Sweet Country

Set in 1929, Sweet Country walks the razors edge of race relations between aboriginals and whites deep in the Australian. The relationship between the communities span from being treated with respect and dignity to being seen as property depending on whose land you’re on. The aborigines work as ranch hands and domestic help on white […]

October 17

imagineNATIVE 2017: Out of State

The prisons in Hawaii are getting so overcrowded that many inmates who were charged and convicted in their home state are flown out of state to be incarcerated. This has started to happen so frequently that eventually an entire institution has been built in Arizona just for Hawaii’s prisoners. A disproportionate number of these prisoners […]

October 17

imagineNATIVE 2017: Birth of a Family

Tasha Hubbard’s Birth of a Family documents the first meeting of a family torn asunder by racist government policies, decades after their separation. As infants, Betty Ann, Esther, Rosalie, and Ben were taken from their indigenous mother and placed into separate white homes across North America as part of Canada’s “Sixties Scoop”. The story of […]

October 16

imagineNATIVE 2017: Waru

The death of a young boy hits a community like a tidal wave in the riveting film Waru. While the audience is not provided with much detail about the deceased child, the picture slowly begins to form when observing how eight vastly different women react to the news. All linked to the child in some […]

October 16

imagineNATIVE 2017: Holy Angels

Most of us have heard about the terrible treatment of First Nations children when they were sent to residential schools. However, it’s only when we get a firsthand account of the harsh memories from a survivor do we realize exactly how much strength these children needed to get by in their day-to-day lives. The Holy […]

October 23

ImagineNATIVE 2016: I Am Thy Weapon

Directed by Razelle Benally, I Am Thy Weapon is a quick short narrative about reconciling the past and learning to move on. This story takes the form of a pair of sisters, Reagan and Daya, and Daya’s desire to reconcile with her past. Their story is told in flashbacks while Daya returns to a place […]