RESCHEDULED – Special Film Event: Alanis Obomsawin Film Shorts
Sunday, April 7, 2024 @ 2:00 PM$10
ALANIS OBOMSAWIN – The First woman in film to be awarded the MacDowell Gold Medal in 2023. One of the most acclaimed Indigenous directors in the world, Alanis Obomsawin came to cinema from performance and storytelling. Alanis Obomsawin is an Abenaki First Nations filmmaker, singer, artist, and activist primarily known for her documentary films. Born in what is now called Lebanon, New Hampshire, United States and raised primarily in what is now called Quebec, Canada, she has worked at the National Film Board of Canada since 1967, where she created an extraordinary body of work—50 films and counting—including landmark documentaries like Incident at Restigouche (1984) and Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance (1993). Alanis has received numerous awards, and in 2023, she was honored with the 63rd Annual Edward MacDowell Medal, celebrating her life’s work chronicling the First Nations people and exploring issues of importance to all.
“My main interest all my life has been education,” says Obomsawin, “because that’s where you develop yourself, where you learn to hate, or to love.”
Join The Colonial Theatre and the Monadnock International Film Festival for three of Alanis’ shorts followed by a short discussion.
BILL REID REMEBERS – 2021 | 24 min
Bill Reid Remembers is a beautiful tribute from Alanis Obomsawin to her friend’s remarkable life and rich legacy. Despite spending his early life away from his nation’s culture, renowned Haida artist Bill Reid always kept Haida Gwaii close to his heart. While working for CBC Radio, he started learning how to make jewelry, then later sculpture, using Haida techniques and images, a move that would forever change his life and the Canadian artistic landscape. Reid’s powerful narration in the film—interspersed with Obomsawin’s own—recounts his complex childhood, his emergence as an accomplished artist, and his profound connection to his homeland. Decades after his passing, Bill Reid remains an enduring force and one of Canada’s greatest artists.
WALKING IS MEDICINE – 2017 | 5 min
Walking is Medicine is the story of the Nishiyuu walkers, six young Cree men who decided to trek 1600km from Whapmagoostui, Quebec, to Ottawa, in the spirit of their ancestors, whose traditions were to travel long distances in the winter because the rivers and lakes are frozen. This was an effort to meet with so many different nations from across the country and to be part of a new beginning.
WHEN ALL THE LEAVES ARE GONE – 2010 | 17 min
As the only First Nations student in an all-white 1940s school, eight-year-old Wato is keenly aware of the hostility towards her. She deeply misses the loving environment of the reserve she once called home, and her isolation is sharpened by her father’s serious illness. When Wato’s teacher reads from a history book describing First Nations peoples as ignorant and cruel, it aggravates her classmates’ prejudice. Shy and vulnerable Wato becomes the target of their bullying and abuse. Alone in her suffering, she finds solace and strength in the protective world of her magical dreams.