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Survival Prayer

This screening took place on
Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 12:00pm
Yukon Arts Centre

Survival Prayer follows individual food harvesters on Haida Gwaii as they gather and prepare for the winter. The film celebrates the modern lifestyles of an island indigenous community and bears witness to a profound relationship between individuals and the land that sustains them. Haida Gwaii’s diverse geography supports an unusual abundance of animal and vegetable life that has sustained its inhabitants for countless generations but commercial logging, over-fishing, and invasive species have compromised the availability of traditionally harvested foods and threatened the long-term viability of these practices.

Naanii Mary Swanson, a last speaker, frames this portrait of age-old traditions at risk. Against the spectacular scenery of the North Pacific coastline, her ancient words set the tone for detailed views of modern life, in which the labor of survival — cutting seaweed fronds, pulling salmon from nets, plucking young spruce tips — speaks to timeless rhythms that still retain strands of sacred ritual. An intimate ethnographic reflection, this meditative encounter with the Haida people’s traditional food systems reveals poignant possibility amid deep loss.

All tickets for this screening: $5

  • Directed by Benjamin Greené
  • 2012, British Columbia/USA
  • 70 minutes

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