Image from ALFF Short Works: Hidden Histories

ALFF Short Works: Hidden Histories

Saturday, February 18, 2023 at 2:30 pmYukon Theatre

Tibi (Dir. Twoyoungmen Jarret, 2022, Canada, 13 minutes)
This film begins with archival footage of “Indian Days” in Banff – an exposition of Indigenous culture that includes the setting up of tibis (or tipis) and demonstration of cultural practices that was presented to tourists as entertainment. The ironies in this footage could not be more striking. This footage is accompanied by a rather philosophical narrative voice-over in Îethka (Stoney language) – about the ways of living required in traditional housing that tipis provide, and the various hardships and concerns that such living would entail. As the film shifts to modern day, and to English, it follows a group of Stoney who now want to set up their own tibi – but first must get permission from Kananaskis Provincial Park to harvest poles – underscoring a continued colonial legacy of containing and controlling their cultural expression. This short story demonstrates the process of teaching Îethka culture through the making of a tipi under the supervision of knowledge keepers.

Kokum with Love (Dir. Kim Stadfeld, 2022, Canada, 12 minutes)

This investigation by Flora Bear's youngest granddaughter in finding about her rarely discussed grandmother, is filled with interesting choices, both visually and narratively. It reveals an effective lesson on what it means to be and have a grandmother.

Tiny (Dir. Ryan Haché, Ritchie Hemphill, 2022, Canada, 16 minutes)

Tiny is a very apt title for this beautiful film. Tiny, in that a complete world from memory is reproduced in clay miniature as the set and characters in this film. Tiny also, in that it captures the minutiae and nuance of small human gestures, the touch of one hand to another, the small changes in expression a wrinkle in a forehead makes, or the way one sips a coffee. These are made all the more amazing in the fact they are in magnificently beautiful claymation. But Tiny also refers to the narrative. The film is a series of reminiscences by one of the maker’s ancestors: 'Nakwaxda'xw elder Colleen Hemphill who tells the story of her life as a youth growing up on a float house in her Indigenous home in northern Vancouver Island. The film’s heartening comprises a gorgeous memory of a loving childhood.

Imalijirit (Dir. Tim Anaviapik Soucie, Vincent L’Hérault, 2022, Canada, 27 minutes)

This film brings human faces to the much reported issue of problems with drinking water for Indigenous communities. In this, a young father in Pond Inlet, near the north end of Baffin Island, sets out to take matters into his own community’s hands. A fascinating overview of a multi-faceted co-operative project that involves educating fellow Inuit, gathering historical evidence from elders, and a large degree of training and co-operation with academic institutions in the south. Inspiring and a great look into life in Pond Inlet, Nunavut.

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