12 Indigenous-themed films to stream on CBC Gem
From dramas to food docs, there's a lot to whet your streaming appetite
New titles were added to the National Indigenous History Month collection in June.
The collection also includes previously released Indigenous-themed titles.
Here is the collection. Start streaming.
New Feature Films
MALIGLUTIT (SEARCHERS) - Drama
Nunavut, circa 1913. Kuanana returns from a caribou hunt to discover his wife and daughter kidnapped, and the rest of his family slaughtered. His father's spirit helper, the loon Kallulik, sets him on course to overturn fate and reunite his family. The Inuktitut-language film was shot in Nunavut with an entirely Inuit cast, and with contributions from a local crew.
ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF NOAH PIUGATTUK hinges on a pivotal 1961 encounter on spring sea ice between a government emissary (Kim Bodnia) and community leaders like title character Noah (Apayata Kotierk), who has come to ask them to relocate their families to permanent settlements and send their children to school. Those demands will ultimately carry an enormous burden. Behind what seems to the hunters to be the government agent's incoherent requests is a policy that will mean a fundamental rupture in the lives of Inuit.
SGAAWAAY K'UUNA (EDGE OF THE KNIFE) makes history as the first film made entirely in the Haida language. Despite being nearly lost to the terrible consequences of disease, residential schools, the church and government intervention, there are currently less than 60 fluent speakers of Haida, many over the age of 70. On the islands of Haida Gwaii, two extended families reunite at their annual summer fishing camp. Soon conflict between a charismatic young man, Adiits'ii (Tyler York), and his best friend Kwa (Willy Russ), begins to tear their interwoven families apart. When Adiits'ii's recklessness and arrogance result in a tragic incident, he flees into the rainforest abandoning his family and way of life.
RED CHEF REVIVAL
Produced by Ryan Mah and directed by Danny Berish (Estranged), RED CHEF REVIVAL documents how Indigenous cuisine is being reclaimed and re-invented by a new guard of chefs. Follow New York Times-featured Cezin Nottaway, Top Chef Canada finalist Rich Francis and Chopped Canada finalist Shane Chartrand as they discover their peoples' story on a plate. "The food is the chefs' way to really tell their stories and the meanings behind it," says producer Mah. "This is not just a plate of fire-seared bison heart, there are so many stories to unpack and we meet at a table to talk about a bunch of topics."
PANDEMIC: AT THE END OF THE WORLD
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.
JORDAN RIVER ANDERSON: THE MESSENGER
From Alanis Obomsawin (When All The Leaves Are Gone), this 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
OUR PEOPLE WILL BE HEALED
OUR PEOPLE WILL BE HEALED, from Alanis Obomsawin (When All The Leaves Are Gone), reveals how a Cree community in Manitoba has been enriched through the power of education. The Helen Betty Osborne Ininiw Education Resource Centre in Norway House, north of Winnipeg, receives a level of funding that few other Indigenous institutions enjoy. Its teachers help their students to develop their abilities and their sense of pride.
Following his journey back home, Bradford Bilodeau travels to talk with the last relative that has the knowledge of what happened during the time he and all of his siblings were taken from his home in the '60s scoop. Official selection of ImagineNATIVE Film Festival 2018.
KEEP GOING MY DAUGHTER
A young couple narrates a message to their young daughter that reflects the hopes and dreams of a new generation of Indigenous parents fighting to heal colonial trauma and raise the next generation. An official selection of Hot Docs 2019.
WHEN THE CHILDREN LEFT
Exploring the hardships of one woman's journey as she travels home to pay homage to her sister, who left her isolated community for basic education and never returned. An official selection of the ImagineNATIVE Film Festival 2019.
AS THE SMOKE RISES
AS THE SMOKE RISES explores the significant role of the Indigenous ceremony of smudging, which is used to cleanse the mind, body and spirit, thereby releasing unwanted negative energy, and embracing new positive energy to restore natural balance. Viviane Rose Sandy, an Elder from the Williams Lake Band, expresses how smudging has had a positive impact in her everyday life and how it can help others. After being introduced to the practice for the first time since her childhood, she is "reborn" and able to reconnect spiritually with her culture and traditions.
ÊMÎCÊTÔSÊT: MANY BLOODLINES
A Cree filmmaker and her white partner document their pregnancy and journey to parenthood. From the search for an Indigenous donor and midwife to their concerns about raising a child as an interracial queer couple, the joy of having a child together gives them the courage to overcome any obstacle. An official selection of Hot Docs 2020, where it was awarded the Betty Youson Award for Best Canadian Short Documentary.