A Vancouver and Toronto film festival drama about residential school survivors will kick off a tour of northern British Columbia with a screening in Prince Rupert for audiences on November 14.
Bones of Crows will screen at the Lester Center for the Arts at 12:45 p.m. for students in School District 52 and 7 p.m. for community members. There is no charge for the event.
The tour will continue through the northwest, stopping in Terrace on November 15, Hazelton on November 16, Prince George on November 17 and 18, Skidegate on November 20 and Old Massett on November 21.
The film, from Métis writer, director and producer Marie Clements, follows Cree matriarch Aline Spears through her life, including her experiences at residential school and the lasting intergenerational impact it had on her family.
“It’s a love story and a drama. So that’s where people can tune in to see our love on screen – it’s rare to see,” said Leena Minifie, the film’s associate producer.
Minifie is Ts’msyen and British. She grew up in Prince Rupert and Kitimat. She said The view from the north the film is an epic tale of love featuring diverse and complex Indigenous characters.
Bones of Crows connects many of the social issues, major conflicts and barriers that Indigenous peoples face in Canada, she explained.
“Marie wanted to do it, so it’s almost a thriller in a way. It’s not just residential schools – it’s all the native issues you’ve seen in contemporary news. He then explains why, what, how it intersects with people’s lives.
The film received two standing ovations at the Toronto Film Festival.
Minifie is thrilled to be returning to Prince Rupert for the community screening. Other members of the cast and crew will also be part of the Nordic tour, including writer and director Marie Clements accompanied by actresses Michelle Thrush and Alyssa Wapanatâhk.
The film had a crew of 240 and a cast of 180. Minifie believes it is the largest Aboriginal project ever produced and made in Canada.
Fifty of the crew members were Indigenous, with most of the cast also being Indigenous.
“Crew members, in front of the camera, behind the camera, who are Indigenous, we’re all impacted by residential schools and this systemic racism that the show is about,” Minifie said,
“So every single person including myself we have boarding schools in our family and my family is no exception. So coming to be able to show it in the north is crucial.
“Everyone will have someone to connect with on film, I’m sure.”
“I Love First Peoples” organized the film’s northern tour because they wanted to provide Indigenous communities with the opportunity to see the film.
Bones of Crows is slated for theatrical release next spring, along with a five-episode miniseries that will air on CBC next fall.
The film contains content related to residential schools, abuse and racism. Support is available 24 hours a day for anyone in need through the Indian Residential School Survivors Society at 1-800-721-0066 or the National Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line at 1-866-925- 4419.
Nov. 14 at 12:45 p.m. at the Lester Center for the Arts (for the school district)
Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. at the Lester Arts Center (for community members)
November 15 at 7 p.m. at the REM Lee Theater
November 16 at 1 p.m. at Hazelton High School
November 16 at 7 p.m. at the Gitanmaax Tri-Town Theater
Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m. at the Maison des Ancêtres
November 18 at 9 a.m. at College Heights Secondary
Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. at Skidegate Hall
Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. at the Vieux Masset community hall
Kaitlyn Bailey | Journalist of the Local Journalism Initiative
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