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Sunday Film Series: Sgaawaay K’uuna (Edge of the Knife)

Sunday, September 22, 2019 at 10:30am
Suggested donation: $10

Directors: Helen Haig-Brown, Gwaai Edenshaw
Run Time: 1 hour 40 minutes

Arriving more than a century after British Columbia’s first-ever feature film, In the Land of the Head Hunters — Edward S. Curtis’ controversial but undeniably fascinating portrait of the Kwakwaka’wakw people of northern Vancouver Island — Edge of the Knife is the first feature to tell a story about the Kwakwaka’wakw’s neighbours the Haida. Part drama, part historical reclamation, First Nations directors Gwaai Edenshaw and Helen Haig-Brown’s film is set during the 19th century and performed entirely in the Haida language: a tongue so endangered, with less than 20 fluent speakers, that a dialect coach was needed. Whereas Curtis remained an outside observer in In the Land of the Head Hunters transfixed by the Kwakwaka’wakw’s masks and regalia, Edge of the Knife has a genuine Indigenous eye akin not only to other films by distributor Isuma (Zacharias Kunuk has an executive producer credit), but also from supernatural neorealist fables from African and Latin American filmmakers. Inspired by the Gaagiixiid/Gaagiid wildman of Haida mythology, the film charts a simple narrative about a reckless uncle who can’t bare the guilt of having unwittingly led a beloved nephew to his demise, and whose abnegation takes on a horrific physical form over a winter of self-imposed exile in the wild.

Trailer:

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Sundays 10:30 am (doors open at 10)
By Donation (suggested donation of $10)
The Arts Centre
5714 Medusa, Sechlet

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