DOXA- Documentary Film Festival Opening Weekend


DOXA kicks things off tonight with their opening party at Harrison Galleries. Redwire is a community partner with “The Healing Lens” and “Six Miles Deep” and will be in attendance at the screening for both films.

Drop by our table and check out the Redwire clothing line featuring beautiful artwork from local Native youth. If your interested in submitting your work to us or have any questions this is a great opportunity to come meet us in person. There’s some seriously good documentaries on the bill for this week-long festival, check the DOXA website for a complete listing.

Here’s a description of the films from the DOXA website

The Healing Lens

In 2007, filmmaker Michelle Derosier released her dramatic film Seeking Bimaadiziiwin, a fictionalized but realistic depiction of the struggles of First Nations youth dealing with depression, suicide and racism. After auditioning hundreds of young people, Michelle assembled a stunning cast of first-time actors from around Northwestern Ontario. Intended to spark discussion about these critical issues, Seeking Bimaadiziiwin went on to win numerous awards including Best Live Action Short Film at the 32nd Annual American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco.

After working with the young “actors” on the film, Derosier decided she wanted to work with them further; this time to make a documentary about their real lives. That is how she came to make The Healing Lens, a film about the healing power of art and culture, and the resiliency of First Nations youth.

During the filming of Seeking Bimaadiziiwin, it was discovered that each of these talented youth actually shared deeply personal connections to the script and had been touched by many of the same issues they were acting out in the film. As they played these roles, they began to find their own strength and take charge of their own paths toward the future.

Brittany Angeconeb, only 15 when she acted in the first film, is an athlete and North American Indigenous Games medalist and was awarded the Keewaywin Award for Youth Leadership and Community Involvement in 2007. Brent Achneepineskum has become a traditional drummer and has travelled extensively with the ‘Little Bear Singers’. He has plans to further his education and become a social worker. Candace Twance is currently attending Lakehead University in the Visual Art Program. She is primarily a painter, and her works have been exhibited in numerous settings. Krysten Flett plans to pursue a career in nursing.

By listening to their moving stories and witnessing their powerful transformations, we are inspired by the strength and possibility of young people to heal themselves and their communities. Youth like Brittany, Brent, Candace and Krysten can show us all the way.

Six Miles Deep

On February 28, 2006, members of the Iroquois Confederacy (the Haudenosaunee) set up a blockade on a highway near Caledonia, Ontario to prevent a housing development from going ahead on their traditional land. The ensuing confrontation made national headlines for months. However, while most Canadians have watched television news footage of First Nations “protesters” blocking roads and angry non-Aboriginal people who want to get on with business as usual, few ever get the perspective of the First Nations. And even less well known is the perspective of women and in this particular situation, the crucial role of the women of the Six Nations community — the traditional source of power in the Haudenosaunee Confederacy.

In 1784, in recognition of Haudenosaunee loyalty during the American Revolution, the Crown granted a piece of land known as the Haldimand Tract to the Six Nations in perpetuity. The land stretches nearly 10 kilometres on either side of the Grand River. Today, the Haudenosaunee possess less than five per cent of that territory. According to the Canadian government, that’s because they sold the rest. The clan mothers disagree. And for them, Caledonia is the last straw.

While this peaceful blockade was initiated by two young women, the struggle was then joined and lead by the clan mothers. With quiet determination, the women rally the community on the Six Nations of the Grand River Reserve — with a population of 20,000, the largest reserve in Canada.

During the course of the blockade, it is the clan mothers who set the rules for conduct. And when the community’s chiefs ask people to abandon the barricades, it is the clan mothers who over-rule them. Six Miles Deep is an inspiring portrait of a group of women whose actions have led a cultural reawakening in their traditionally matriarchal community.

Official Doxa website

Check out this article from the Georgia Straight about “Six Miles Deep” and another intriguing film “The Experimental Eskimos”


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