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.
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.