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‘Cry Rock’: An Indigenous Perspective on Storytelling

Dear Douglas College Librarians:

I saw a wonderful film at the Vancouver International Film Festival tonight. The film is called Cry Rock and it was written, produced, and directed by Nuxalk (Coast Salish; BC Central Coast) filmmaker Banchi Hanuse. It is a story of storytelling, as Ms. Hanuse wonders if she should record for posterity the stories of her grandmother. Ms. Hanuse weaves her response to this question with Nuxalk stories told by elders and young people – leading us to the conclusion that stories are embedded in places and people. For this reason, Ms. Hanuse decides that she must live her grandmother’s stories with her grandmother; any recording would so fundamentally change the nature of the story that it wouldn’t be the same.

I’ve embedded the film’s trailer below. It comes from the production company’s website. You should know that if we were to purchase this film, our instructors would find uses for in in classes that taught the histories and cultures of indigenous peoples. It would be incredibly useful for classes on storytelling, narrative, and the nature of knowledge. It runs about 30 minutes, which is a perfect length for showing and discussing within a single class meeting.

CRY ROCK trailer | a short documentary from Smayaykila Films on Vimeo.

By the way, I understand that another film at the VIFF, Two Indians Talking, is well worth our attention too. I haven’t had a chance to see it yet. But, it is by a Douglas College grad, Sara McIntyre, and seems to speak directly to contemporary concerns of indigenous peoples in Canada. I’d like the chance to show it to my students, too.

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  1. Patti Romanko wrote:

    Sorry to take so long to get back to you, Tad. I’ve been away for a bit. I’m guessing Susan Ashcroft saw this at the Film Fest as well and will be ordering a copy for the Library. We’ll let you know when it arrives.

    Monday, October 18, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Permalink
  2. Thanks Patti! I think it would be a worthwhile addition to our collection. -Tad

    Monday, October 18, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

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  1. […] place and culture.” As the site Field Notes for the Anthropology of British Columbia Canada notes, the narrator “wonders if she should record for posterity the stories of her grandmother. […]