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The Beauty of My People

The Beauty of My People

| 29 min

The film centres on Arthur Shilling, an Ojibwa artist from the Rama Reserve on Lake Couchiching, Ontario. Shilling's artistic evolution is traced, as is his move to Toronto and the difficulties he encountered there. Also discussed is the illness that caused Shilling to re-evaluate his artistic goals. Interviews with the artist and others interested in his paintings are juxtaposed with examples of paintings.

  • director
    Alan Collins
  • writer
    Gary George
  • narration
    Sherman Maness
  • music
    Court Stone
  • photography
    Dennis Miller
    Robert New
    Richard Wincente
  • editor
    Alan Collins
    Ronald Sanders
    David Leach
  • sound
    David Lee
    Aerlyn Weissman
  • stills photographer
    Elizabeth Brewitt


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Ages 12 to 15

Health/Personal Development - Careers & Education
Health/Personal Development - Substance Use and Abuse/Addiction
Indigenous Studies - Arts
Indigenous Studies - Identity/Society

Before viewing, students study "Native art", noting characteristics of traditional examples. After viewing, identify how Shilling's work departed from traditional works. Why is this significant? Identify Shilling’s struggles as his work became recognized. How is this different/similar to artists today (Lindsay Lohan) and throughout history (Van Gogh)? Consider the film’s title as related to Shilling’s life and work. Create a piece showing the “beauty” of something in own life.

The Beauty of My People
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