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When All the Leaves Are Gone

When All the Leaves Are Gone

| 17 min

As the only First Nations student in an all-white 1940s school, eight-year old Wato is keenly aware of the hostility towards her. She deeply misses the loving environment of the reserve she once called home, and her isolation is sharpened by her father’s serious illness. When Wato’s teacher reads from a history book describing First Nations peoples as ignorant and cruel, it aggravates her classmates’ prejudice. Shy and vulnerable Wato becomes the target of their bullying and abuse. Alone in her suffering, she finds solace and strength in the protective world of her magical dreams.

Inspired by personal experiences of writer and director Alanis Obomsawin, When All the Leaves are Gone combines autobiography, fiction and fable to create a deeply moving story about the power of dreams.

  • director
    Alanis Obomsawin
  • writer
    Alanis Obomsawin
  • editor
    Alison Burns
  • camera
    Philippe Amiguet
  • camera assistant
    Denis Fortier
    Grégoire Nicod
  • actor
    Rosalie Dumas
    Daphnée Vincent
    Justine Rolland
    Marie-Josée Corneau
    Margie Hoff
  • dancer
    Yves Nolin Allaire
    Jean-Claude Cloutier
  • choreographer
    Yves Nolin Allaire
    Jean-Claude Cloutier
  • English voice
    Lynne Adams
    Katie Patewabano
    Jennifer Seguin
    Jennifer Suleteanu
  • music composer
    Luc-Dominique Tremblay
    Normand Guilbeault
  • musician
    Luc-Dominique Tremblay
    Normand Guilbeault
    Marie-Soleil Bélanger
  • costumes
    Claude Couture
    Normand Héroux
    Clémence Grieco
    Mega Design Int'l
  • designer
    Marie Hélène Décarie
  • drawings
    Robert Verrall
  • location sound
    Raymond Marcoux
  • location manager
    Patrice Ouimet
  • makeup artist
    Louise Maisonneuve
  • still photographer
    Louise Maisonneuve
  • production assistant
    Madeleine Beauchamp
    Alexandre Dostie
  • music recording
    Geoffrey Mitchell
    Luc Léger
  • voice recording
    Geoffrey Mitchell
    Luc Léger
  • sound editor
    Don Ayer
  • sync rushes
    Hilary Thomson
  • post-production coordinator
    Brigitte Sénéchal
  • digital editing technician
    Isabelle Painchaud
    Martine Forget
    Pierre Dupont
  • online editor
    Denis Pilon
  • computer graphics
    Philippe Raymond
  • titles
    Susan Gourley
    Gaspard Gaudreau
  • foley
    Audio Postproduction SPR Inc.
  • dubbing
    Audio Postproduction SPR Inc.
  • mixer
    Serge Boivin
  • production coordinator
    Christine Williams
  • marketing manager
    Moira Keigher
  • studio administrator
    Stephanie Brown
  • senior production coordinator
    Camila Blos
  • producer
    Alanis Obomsawin
  • executive producer
    Ravida Din


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Ages 12 to 18

Mini-Lesson - When All the Leaves Are Gone

Study Guide - Guide 1

Health/Personal Development - Bullying & Discrimination
Indigenous Studies - Arts
Indigenous Studies - History/Politics
Indigenous Studies - Identity/Society

This documentary can inspire research, discussion, projects and entry points for developing foundational knowledge in relation to residential schools and the education system. What were residential schools and how did they contribute to an on-going legacy of trauma? What is forced assimilation and how did it contribute to identity loss and attempted genocide? How can connecting with the land and creativity nurture well-being? How can creative outlets be a coping mechanism to nurture positive overall well-being? How does/did the education system promote systemically embedded negative attitudes and beliefs about First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples? How important is it to learn critical thinking and digital/media literacy skills in schools to help disseminate the spread of false information designed to promote disparity amongst people? How and why has hateful rhetoric towards First Nations people become normalized in Canadian society? What actions can you take individually or as a group to help dissolve negative beliefs and stereotypes about First Nations people and encourage whole body wellness? How will this benefit society as a whole? Why is it critical to include First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples’ historical and contemporary narratives in all aspects of the education system? 

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