The last series of shorts are ones either made in Yellowknife or across the Northern Territories.
And we have yet another film focusing on aboriginals reclaiming their culture. This time, we see a group of youths and elders travelling across the sub-arctic to Gotsokati; their sacred hunting site.
I didn’t see this one, so I was unable to review it.
In this seven minute documentary, an eleven year old boy with autism who has an interest in princesses. He loves princesses so much he has a drawer full of princess gowns he wears. Now, he’s channeled that into making his own dresses.
This is film celebrates the beauty of being yourself no matter how unconventional it is. There’s the beauty of seeing parents not only accept their son’s unconventional hobby, but also encourage him. It could be because it served as a means of communicating with Jack, just like how Disney movies helped Owen Suskind communicate with his family in Life, Animated. There’s beauty in seeing Jack’s happiness when watching an old Cinderella cartoon. The beauty cultivated in the enchanting scene of Jack in his self-made dress, twirling around ballerinas and other princesses.
In this documentary, we see the beauty of a youth getting together for a common cause. In the case of the youth of Carcross, Yukon, that common cause is building a bike destination across traditional trails. Since 2006, the Carcross Tagish First Nation has led a small group of youths into digging up a bike trail across the Montana Mountains. In the process, the young kids find a sense of accomplishment in their summer work. After 10 years of work, the trail becomes a major tourist attraction, with bikers coming across the world to ride it.
Along with the project, Director Kelly Milner also looks at the history of Carcross itself, from its time as a mining town to the CTFN’s land claim negotiations. She also introduces a lot of interesting people, from trail designer Jane Keophe to Shane Wally, a kid who’s volunteered every year since his teens.
Maddie (Elena Braden) life takes an interesting turn when she receives a painting kit in the mail. Recalling her time painting with her late grandfather (Pat Braden), she decides to return to painting. She doesn’t get much support from her abusive boyfriend Jazz (Jesse Wheeler). She’d already been hiding wads of cash in hopes of getting away from him. When she finally finishes a painting, she finds she can enter the world.
Have you ever seen a film you wanted to like so much but had one problem so bad it ruined the whole film? Unfortunately, this film was like this. I wanted to love this film. It has many things going for it. The premise is interesting. Braden gives an excellent performance. The cinematography portrays nature and art in their respective beauty.
What ruined the film for me was Jazz. He’s a one-dimensional abusive boyfriend whose personality defaults on douche mode. Albeit, he never hits her, but he constantly trivializes her interest, caring only for himself. He can’t even offer any sympathy when she’s mourning her grandfather. I’m aware people like this might exist, but this trope has been exploited in a cheap motivation trope. It fails to give an understandable reason she’d stay with him, making Maddie look like an idiot. Wheeler tries to deliver a grounded performance, but an actor can only do so much with limited material.
I don’t mean to be negative on this film, but this character just ruins it for me.
And now we have one edited, narrated and directed by yours truly. It’s a video essay in which I try to look for the next Wilhelm Scream by taking a notable scream and edit it into a compilation of film clips to test its possibilities.
I can’t really review a film I directed. I would have done that during the editing. If you’re interested, you can watch it on Vimeo.
WHY SPEAKING YOUR LANGUAGE IS IMPORTANT
This seven minute video essay has indigenous leaders discussing the importance of speaking their native language.
Again, I was unable to see this film.
HANGIN’ WITH THE CON KIDS
Through a combination of folk songs and vintage photos, Pat Braden takes us back to the 1960s to bring us a tales of the Con Mine camps.
Again, I was unable to see this, though it sounds entertaining.