Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance

Alanis Obomsawin
1993 | 1 h 59 min
In July 1990, a dispute over a proposed golf course to be built on Kanien’kéhaka (Mohawk) lands in Oka, Quebec, set the stage for a historic confrontation that would grab international headlines and sear itself into the Canadian consciousness. Director Alanis Obomsawin—at times with a small crew, at times alone—spent 78 days behind Kanien’kéhaka lines filming the armed standoff between protestors, the Quebec police and the Canadian army. Released in 1993, this landmark documentary has been seen around the world, winning over a dozen international awards and making history at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it became the first documentary ever to win the Best Canadian Feature award. Jesse Wente, Director of Canada’s Indigenous Screen Office, has called it a “watershed film in the history of First Peoples cinema.”

Awards and distinctions

  • Best Long Documentary Award
    MEDIAWAVE / International Festival of Visual Arts, Györ
  • Special Jury Award in Division Film and Video - Category: 5 - Current Affairs
    Golden Gate Awards Competition & International Film Festival, San Francisco
  • Special Award
    Aotearoa Film Festival, Whakatane
  • American Indian Motion Picture Awards - Best Documentary Feature Film
    Annual American Indian Film Festival, San Francisco
  • Special Award - Documentary Jury
    International Film Festival, Amiens
  • "We are Sovereign" Award
    Two Rivers Native Film and Video Festival, Minneapolis
  • Silver Sesterce - Special Jury Award given to a cinematographic work
    Visions du Réel / Festival international du cinéma documentaire, Nyon
  • NFB Feature Documentary Award - with a cash prize of 500$ (Tied with In the Land of the Deaf)
    International Film Festival, Vancouver
  • Award of Excellence for Best Editing
    Atlantic Film Festival, Halifax
  • CITY TV Award for Best Canadian Feature Film - with a cash prize of 25,000$
    Festival of Festivals, Toronto
  • IDA Award - Distinguished Documentary Achievement
    IDA Annual Awards Competition, Los Angeles