YFS Past Screenings & Events
Picturing a People: George Johnston, Tlingit Photographer
This screening took place on
Tuesday, June 30, 2015 at 11:00am
Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre
Join YFS, Adaka Cultural Festival, and YFS for this celebration of the filmmaking of Teslin Tlingit citizen Carol Geddes. Screening will be followed by a Q & A with Carol Geddes.
A beautiful and arresting landmark in Yukon filmmaking (the first independent film by a Yukon filmmaker working in the modern of the era), Geddes’ documentary focuses on the Tlingit man who photographed the changes in Teslin resulting from the construction of the Alaska Highway in 1942.
George Johnston was a hunter, trapper, entrepreneur and photographer. This man, whose Tlingit name was Kaash KlaÕ, documented his family at work and play, and the Yukon community of Teslin, where he lived.
Johnston’s photos lovingly portray a sense of history and a zest for life. His work as a photographer in the period from 1920-45, when few Indian people spoke English, has long been recognized in the Native community. Johnston’s work predates a generation of Indian and Inuit photographers. Directed by Tlingit filmmaker Carol Geddes (Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief, Anash and the Legacy of the Sun Rock).
Combining archival photography, dramatic reenactment and the pictorial work of Johnston himself, the film not only examines Johnston’s vision but also documents life in the Yukon in the inter-war period. Johnston’s passion for traditional Tlingit culture, his sensitivity and artistic sense of the beauty of the North are captured in the grain of each black and white photograph he took. We see him hunting, and visit his cabin darkroom while the voices of his contemporaries tell the story of this historically important Tlingit man.
- Directed by Carol Geddes
- 1997, Yukon
- 52 minutes
Screening sponsor: Adaka Cultural Festival