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Crazywater

This screening took place on
Monday, February 3, 2014 at 5:30pm
Yukon Arts Centre

After years of struggle and shame, five First Nations Canadians are bravely telling their stories.

Crazywater is an emotional and revealing exploration of substance abuse among First Nations people in Canada, directed by Inuvialuit filmmaker Dennis Allen who is based in Whitehorse. Rarely have Aboriginal perspectives on the sensitive topic of alcoholism been presented in such an honest and forthright manner. 

Dennis introduces Alex, Stephen, Paula and Desirae, who courageously share their experiences. Alex’s struggles with alcoholism were an attempt to forget the abuse he suffered at a residential school. Drinking and drug use were Stephen’s way of burying the childhood trauma he couldn’t bear. For Paula and Desirae—two mothers with a dark history of addiction—family becomes the key to breaking the cycle of abuse.

Like his subjects, the director himself is a recovering alcoholic. Dennis describes his decades-long battle with alcoholism, which began when he took his first drink—when he was only a boy.

The survivors maintain a deep and devoted commitment to their traditional Aboriginal cultures as a means to achieving long-term sobriety. Through their voices, this insightful documentary offers an inspirational beacon of hope for those whose lives have been affected by addiction.


Canadian Premiere.
Director Dennis Allen, Cinematographer Kirk Tougas and NFB producer Teri Snelgrove in attendance.

  • Directed by Dennis Allen
  • 2013, Yukon/ British Columbia
  • 55 minutes
    Crazywater

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