Saturday Matinees Focus on First Nations
The Powell River Film Festival has an exciting line-up of documentaries, dramas, and even a comedy or three scheduled for this year’s festival. Our Saturday afternoon films focus on First Nations stories. With a reconciliation framework in place for BC, and the Tla’amin Nation (Sliammon) regaining independence and become a self-governing nation in April 2016, building bridges of cultural understanding is a shared theme.
Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World
Our 1pm screening of Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World looks to answer Haida Chief Allan Wilson’s question: “How do we keep defeating the governments in our court battles, how do we keep beating the corporations, how do we keep winning?” Director Charles Wilkinson’s film is a hopeful, inspiring story set on the pristine Haida Gwaii archipelago. It explores how the distinct world view of this 14,000 year old society is co-mingling with progressive, modern Europeans to create a sustainable world that well may survive the challenges of the 21st century. Winner of the top prize at 2015 Hot Docs, Best Film at 2015 One World Fest and Audience Favourite at the 2015 Vancouver International Film Festival. View the trailer here.
Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World is paired with Claudia Medina’s short, Carving Reconciliation, profiling Ivan Rosypskye, a Heltsiuk carver and weaver and longtime Powell River resident, as he brings a dead standing tree trunk to life with images of history, spirit, culture and life in Coast Salish territories. The pole lives on the grounds of the Anglican Church, within the Sycamore Commons community permaculture garden, a place of learning and sharing for all. While Ivan carves, members of the Tla’Amin Nation, the church, the gardeners, the local neighbourhood, and the communities at large stop by and talk about what what reconciliation means. Hard realities of the past and present are faced, and hopes for the future are shared.
Directors Charles Wilkinson and Claudia Medina will be in attendance for a Q&A following the films.
Ever the Land
At 3:30pm, we present Ever the Land, an immersive documentary that explores the sublime bond between people and their land through a landmark architectural undertaking of a Living Building by one of New Zealand’s most passionately independent Maori tribes, Ngāi Tūhoe. Director Sarah Grohnert describes the film as an ensemble piece featuring in equal measure: the people, the land, and the building. The building is central because it forms the backbone of the story. View the trailer here.
Dasiqox Tribal Park
Ever the Land is paired with local filmmaker Jeremy Williams’ Dasiqox Tribal Park, which follows the Tsilhqot’in people in their ongoing efforts to protect their territory from exploitation by logging and mining, while the BC government continues to issue permits within their sovereign territory. This visually stunning film reveals a sacred land that is perhaps the last place in southern BC where grizzlies, wolves, salmon, and wild horses continue to thrive.
Director Jeremy Williams will be in attendance for a Q&A.
Canada as a nation, and Canadians as individuals, must face historical and current issues honestly and critically as First Nations move forward from the process of truth and reconciliation. How do we create an economic future for First Nations and revitalize their cultural practices and languages? What can we do to support the bridge building that must take place?
This afternoon of films provides a place to have a conversation around these themes.
Buy your tickets today at Breakwater Books or online at prfilmfestival.ca.
Hope to see you there!
Now more than ever we need to talk to each other, to listen to each other and understand how we see the world, and cinema is the best medium for doing this.