TIFF 2019: CBC Indigenous lists 5 films to watch

The Toronto International Film Festival kicks off next week and CBC Indigenous has a list of five films to catch at this year's event. 

A Mi’kmaw zombie flick and Alanis Obomsawin's 53rd documentary are among this year's picks

Jeff Barnaby debuts his second feature length film Blood Quantum, which is described as equal parts horror and political critique. (TIFF)

The Toronto International Film Festival kicks off next week and CBC Indigenous has a list of five films to catch at this year's event. 

Blood Quantum

Director: Jeff Barnaby

Jeff Barnaby returns to the big screen with his follow up to Rhymes for Young Ghouls. Blood Quantum is a zombie thriller that offers a political critique on colonial systems used to determine Indigenous status. 

In the film, people in an isolated Mi'kmaw community discover they are the only humans immune to a zombie plague. The community must decide if they should offer refuge to outsiders escaping the virus at the risk of their own safety.

Jordan River Anderson, the Messenger

Director: Alanis Obomsawin

Alanis Obomsawin's 53rd film documents the story of a young boy who spent all five years of his life in hospital while the provincial and federal government argued over who was responsible for paying for the boy's care.

After facing criticism for the boy's death, Parliament passed a motion in support of "Jordan's Principle," a policy meant to ensure equal access to government-funded health, social and educational services, although living up to the principle took a decade to be fully recognized. 


Kuessipan, directed by Myriam Verreault, is an adaptation of Naomi Fontaine's novel. (TIFF)

Director: Myriam Verreault

Myriam Verrault brings Naomi Fontaine's novel about two childhood friends from a Quebec Innu community to the big screen.

In it, the two friends realize their lives are heading in different directions after they promised each other they would stick together no matter what.

One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk

Director: Zacharias Kunuk 

Acclaimed director of Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner Zacharias Kunuk returns to TIFF with One Day in the life of Noah Piugattuk.

Set in 1961, an Inuk hunter and his family encounter emissaries from the government pressuring them to move into a permanent settlement and send their children to school. 

The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open 

The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open was directed by Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and Kathleen Hepburn. (TIFF)

Directors: Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and Kathleen Hepburn

A collaboration between Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and Kathleen Hepburn sees two Indigenous women from different backgrounds come together by chance. 

Tailfeathers, a member of the Kainai First Nation as well as Sámi from Norway, triples as lead, co-writer, and co-director alongside TIFF veteran Hepburn.

TIFF runs Sept. 5-15.