Alanis Obomsawin’s new documentary Our People Will Be Healed joins shorts from acclaimed filmmakers Dominic Etienne Simard, Torill Kove and Matthew Rankin in rich NFB selection at TIFF 2017
Toronto – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)
The 50th film from Alanis Obomsawin in the 50th year of her legendary filmmaking career, the world premiere of Dominic Etienne Simard’s new animated short, as well as North American premieres of Oscar-winning animator Torill Kove’s latest gem and Matthew Rankin’s dazzling short film on the visionary Nikola Tesla—the lineup of National Film Board of Canada films at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival features powerful stories and astounding visual delights.
Our People Will Be Healed, Alanis Obomsawin – Masters
Making its world premiere in the Masters program, Our People Will Be Healed is the latest feature documentary by distinguished Montreal-based Abenakifilmmaker Alanis Obomsawin. The film takes audiences inside the Helen Betty Osborne Ininiw Education Resource Centre, an innovative N-12 school in the remote Cree community of Norway House, 800 kilometres north of Winnipeg, whose educators and programs are helping First Nations children to learn and thrive, growing up strong and proud. The school’s name honours a young woman from Norway House whose notorious 1971 murder was left ignored and unsolved for 16 long years, with the film providing a sobering look at the painful history endured by Cree people in northern Manitoba. But in her 50th film, Obomsawin offers a tremendously hopeful vision for First Nations peoples, showing us how improved education can save lives and change the future for Indigenous youth.
Children’s rights have been a central theme in much of Obomsawin’s incredible body of work. Our People Will Be Healed is the latest in a cycle of films that began with her 2012 Donald Brittain Award-winning The People of the Kattawapiskak River and continued with Hi-Ho Mistahey! (2013), Trick or Treaty?(2014) and We Can’t Make the Same Mistake Twice (2016). It was Jordan River Anderson, a child from Norway House whose too-short life was marred by inadequate health care for a rare medical condition, who became a symbol in the fight for equal health and social services for First Nations, as documented in Obomsawin’s 2016 film. Jordan will also be the subject of Obomsawin’s next film, her 51st, tentatively titled Jordan’s Principle. For Obomsawin, this new film cycle represents a departure for her and for First Nations: “Young people are leading the way. Their leadership and strength is beautiful and inspiring. We are on the road to a place we’ve never been before, to a new age for Indigenous peoples, and it is our youth who are leading us. This is what I am trying to show in these films.”