How does prolonged confinement shape our experience of time? Filmmaker Conor McNally explores the question in the company of his brother Riley, a young man who’s learning to cope with a new—yet strangely familiar—reality.
This documentary is an inquiry into what came to be known as Saskatoon's infamous "freezing deaths," and the schism between a fearful, mistrustful Indigenous community and a police force harbouring a harrowing secret.One frigid night in January 2000 Darrell Night, an Indigenous man was dumped by two police officers in -20° C temperatures in a barren field on the city outskirts. He survives the ordeal but is stunned to hear that the frozen body of another Indigenous man was discovered in the same area. Days later, another victim, also Native, is found. When Night comes forward with his story, he sets into motion a chain of events: a major RCMP investigation into several suspicious deaths, the conviction of the two constables who abandoned him and the reopening of an old case, leading to a judicial inquiry.
A young Chinese-Canadian couple is visiting family in Wuhan, epicentre of the virus, at the very moment the pandemic is declared. Interviewing his subjects in a novel socially distanced mode, director Weiye Su explores the culturally specific concept of Jia—an idea evoking family or home that acquires sharp new meaning during COVID times.
The Covid pandemic strikes a tragically familiar chord for the Inuvialuit of the Mackenzie River Delta. In the early 19th century John Franklin and his crew infected their ancestors with deadly smallpox. Other devastating epidemics would follow. Historian Randal Pokiak returns to the ancient site of Kitigaaruk, a community abandoned after the great flu epidemic of 1918, to deliver a vivid cautionary tale.
Richard Cardinal died by his own hand at the age of 17, having spent most of his life in a string of foster homes and shelters across Alberta. In this short documentary, Abenaki director Alanis Obomsawin weaves excerpts from Richard’s diary into a powerful tribute to his short life. Released in 1984—decades before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission—the film exposed the systemic neglect and mistreatment of Indigenous children in Canada’s child welfare system. Winner of the Best Documentary Award at the 1986 American Indian Film Festival, the film screened at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 2008 as part of an Obomsawin retrospective, and continues to be shown around the world.
This short documentary offers an Indigenous perspective on the devastating experience of searching for a loved one who has disappeared. Volunteer activist Kyle Kematch and award-winning writer Katherena Vermette have both survived this heartbreak and share their histories with each other and the audience. While their stories are different, they both exemplify the beauty, grace, resilience, and activism born out of the need to do something.
Tree-planters planting hope. A symbolism that speaks movingly of the resistance of Aboriginal peoples.
Since 2004, the travelling studios of Wapikoni Mobile have enabled Quebec First Nations youth to express themselves through videos and music. This short film was made with the guidance of these travelling studios and is part of the 2008 Selection - Wapikoni Mobile.
This documentary looks at various Indigenous spirituality programs that run in western Canadian federal penitentiaries, as well as in some provincial institutions. These programs are led by elders, with assistance from liaison officers. They include workshops, ceremonies, and other traditional methods that help put the incarcerated back in touch with themselves, their culture, and their spirituality. A unique glimpse of the lives of Indigenous inmates.
Alanis Obomsawin's 52nd film tells the story of how the life of Jordan River Anderson initiated a battle for the right of First Nations and Inuit children to receive the same standard of social, health and educational services as the rest of the Canadian population.
Also available on the Alanis Obomsawin: A Legacy DVD box set
On August 9, 2016, a young Cree man named Colten Boushie died from a gunshot to the back of his head after entering Gerald Stanley’s rural property with his friends. The jury’s subsequent acquittal of Stanley captured international attention, raising questions about racism embedded within Canada’s legal system and propelling Colten’s family to national and international stages in their pursuit of justice. Sensitively directed by Tasha Hubbard, nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up weaves a profound narrative encompassing the filmmaker’s own adoption, the stark history of colonialism on the Prairies, and a vision of a future where Indigenous children can live safely on their homelands.
Acclaimed Métis filmmaker Christine Welsh brings us a compelling documentary that puts a human face on a national tragedy – the epidemic of missing or murdered Indigenous women in Canada. The film takes a journey into the heart of Indigenous women's experience, from Vancouver's skid row, down the Highway of Tears in northern BC, and on to Saskatoon, where the murders and disappearances of these women remain unsolved.
Amid a severe housing crisis that made international headlines in 2011, the federal government imposed third-party management on the Attawapiskat First Nation. In response, the First Nation’s leadership filed a challenge in federal court, claiming the appointment was unreasonable, contrary to law and harmful to community members. Alanis Obomsawin documents the remarkable judicial review that ensued in April 2012 in this companion work to her feature documentary The People of the Kattawapiskak River.