Category Archives: imagineNATIVE

iamthyweapon 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 […]

digit1 October 23

ImagineNATIVE 2016: Dig It If You Can

This film by Kyle Bell serves as an introductory piece to Native American artist, Steven Paul Judd. Judd is a mostly self-taught man, whether it be film, Photoshop, even writing for television. The need to create drives him but his Native (Kiowa-Choctaw) ancestry is what inspires him. Growing up on a reservation, Judd had limited exposure to […]

the-northlander October 23

ImagineNATIVE 2016: The Northlander

Combining mysticism and First Nations people seems like a natural way to convey a culture. Add a speculative science fiction element to it and you have Benjamin Ross Hayden’s The Northlander. Set in 2961, a mysterious hunter with a reputation for his fierce nature, Cygnus (Corey Sevier), must help his people by defeating a blood […]

remainshuman October 23

ImagineNATIVE 2016: Remains, Human

Jessica (Mallory James) and Cody (Trevor Mutual) have arranged an exclusive interview with Victor Merrick (Ryan Black). He claims to know why people have been disappearing off the streets of Winnipeg, and has reluctantly given Channel 7 news the scoop. Merrick reveals that the streets run rampant with monsters, and that they come from a […]

meandmylittlesister October 22

ImagineNATIVE 2016: Me and My Little Sister

Kaisa West is a Lesbian who lives in Helsinki, Finland.  But, she lived much of her life among the Sami people, an indigenous group in the north of Scandinavia.  Like many indigenous peoples, the Sami have had their culture trodden upon by Christian missionaries.  The Sami communities express the same kind of anti-homosexual mentality that […]

the-sun-at-midnight October 22

ImagineNATIVE 2016: The Sun at Midnight

My first impression of The Sun at Midnight was a lot like Lia’s (Devery Jacobs) initial reaction to Ft. McPherson. The film opens on a strained conversation between father and sulking daughter about “Why do I have to go stay with Grandma anyway?” As first scenes go, this one is a lot like how Lia […]

thelandofrockandgold October 22

ImagineNATIVE 2016: The Land of Rock and Gold

After her partner Willie mysteriously disappears, a panicked Rochelle (Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs) suspects that something grave might have occurred. Her fears only worsen when she locates his truck deep in the woods near the frozen body of an unknown dead man. With their son Dimitri in tow, Rochelle frantically begins a one-woman search that quickly […]

crashsite October 21

ImagineNATIVE 2016: Crash Site

Finding one’s place in the world can often be a difficult journey. It is even tougher when you are placed in an environment void of the culture you know and where no one looks like you. Such is the situation that young Kaley finds herself in. Still carrying the anger and pain of her parents’ […]

wecantmakethesamemistakestwice_02 October 21

ImagineNATIVE 2016: We Can’t Make the Same Mistake Twice

Noted documentarian Alanis Obomsawin (Trick or Treaty?) returns with another powerful film highlighting the injustice First Nations people have endured in Canada. Her latest work follows the legal battle that occurred when activists and organizations, such the Assembly of First Nations of Canada and the Caring Society, filed a human-rights complaint against the Canadian federal […]

killormut October 21

ImagineNATIVE 2016: Killormut (Upside Down)

What do you do when your car crashes and flips on a dark, snowy road in the middle of nowhere? That’s where our main character finds himself. Deep in thought, this everyman (Miké Philip Fencker Thomsen) is clearly angered and upset by a busy dial tone, a question mark for the audience as we hear […]

mannahatta_1 October 20

ImagineNATIVE 2016: Mannahatta (Manhattan)

Films like Mannahatta are always tough to watch as a white male. They serve as a reminder that what’s mine has come at someone else’s expense. Manhattan is the classic example of that, a chunk of land “bought” for nothing where the tiniest square of land is now worth millions of dollars, from high-end department […]

maliglutitsearchers_01 October 20

ImagineNATIVE 2016: Maliglutit (Searchers)

The latest film by Inuk filmmaker Zacharias Kunuk (Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner) is another intriguing look at the people and landscapes of the North. While inspired by John Ford’s 1956 western classic The Searchers, it feels wrong to call Maliglutit, which he co-directs with Natar Ungalaaq, a remake. It is much more than that. Kunuk […]

tshiuetin October 19

ImagineNATIVE 2016: Tshiuetin

After stunning audiences last year with her exhilarating short film Mobilize, Caroline Monnet is back with another beautiful work. This time she turns her focus to the historic Tshiuentin railway line. Stretching 134 miles (217 kilometres) across Labrador and northeastern Quebec, the line holds the distinction, as of December 1, 2005, of being a railway […]

akoo_01 October 19

ImagineNATIVE 2016: AKOÓ (Watch Out!)

The Caribou Leg Woman is a spirit known to the Dene tribe of First Nations people who has the legs of a caribou and power over our most basic urges. Her story is (from what I have gathered) similar to the Deer Woman, a fairy-type spirit who, among other things, polices the romantic lives of […]

three-wise-cousins October 19

ImagineNATIVE 2016: Three Wise Cousins

The first ten minutes of Three Wise Cousins is enough to convince you that you are in for a great time. The title card simply reads, “Somewhere in Samoa”, as a young nerdy man named Adam is intimidated by two larger men, who are ostensibly his cousins Tavita and Mose. Faux drama and tension is […]

godsacre_05 October 19

ImagineNATIVE 2016: God’s Acre

You hear the squelching of his boots before you register much else. An older Aboriginal man is paying his respects at a rustic grave. The mud takes hold of his boots, lets go only reluctantly. He plods back to his humble shack, and sets to work counting stores. His traps are empty. Nothing grows. A way […]

7-minutes October 18

ImagineNATIVE 2016: 7 Minutes

Marie’s walk home from her campus library is almost exactly 7 minutes. After being aggressively harassed one night, she can no longer help noticing just how vulnerable a young Native woman in Saskatoon can be. Her experience of reporting the incident, to the seemingly uninterested local police, only makes her feel less safe. 7 Minutes, […]

born-to-dance October 18

ImagineNATIVE 2016: Born to Dance

The ImagineNATIVE Film & Media Arts Festival celebrates Canadian and international Indigenous filmmakers and artistic expressions. Tammy Davis is the filmmaker in question today. Of Maori descent, he identifies with Ngati Rangi and Atihaunui a Paparangi. The Maoris are the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand. They have a rich mythology, a knack for horticulture, […]

thisriver October 18

ImagineNATIVE 2016: this river

According to writer/director Katherena Vermette, Winnipeg’s Red River is, “The reason we’re here”. She means that the first indigenous peoples found this land by sailing the river, as did later European explorers. The city itself sprung up around the river, and was crucial to its development. But now, this river is largely ignored – at […]

Angry_Inuk_2 October 17

ImagineNATIVE 2016: Angry Inuk

An Inuit community in Canada’s northern territories faces an interesting challenge. How can a culture, that prides itself on a patient and understated expression of anger, make themselves heard when their opponents are famous for a more aggressive approach? Canadian seal hunting has gotten a lot of media attention since the late 1970s thanks to […]