This short documentary by celebrated filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin is a portrait of Eugene "Gene Boy" (pronounced Genie Boy) Benedict, from Odanak Indian Reserve (near Montreal, Quebec). At 17, he enlisted in the US Marines and was sent to the frontlines of the Vietnam War. This film is the account of his 2 years of service and his long journey back to Odanak afterwards.
Ages 15 to 16
History - World History
Indigenous Studies - History/Politics
This film is relevant because of its focus on two great historical taboos: the situation of Aboriginal peoples in Canada, and the Vietnam War. Teachers may want to screen the first few minutes of the film to illustrate more concretely the situation of Native peoples at the turn of the 20th century in Canada. Teachers of courses that cover the Vietnam War can make use of the archival footage in the film as a visual aid.