CM . . .
. Volume XV Number 14. . . .March 6, 2009
Montreal, PQ: National Film Board of Canada, 2007.
77 min., DVD, $99.95.
Order Number: 153C 0108 263.
The Amendment. 4 min. 57 sec.
The Lost Children. 10 min. 54 sec.
A Mother's Dream. 8 min. 15 sec.
The City. 7 min. 24 sec.
Generation Mobilisation. 10 min. 37 sec.
The Little Prince. 6 min. 26 sec.
The Great Departure. 5 min. 25 sec.
Renaissance. 8 min. 5 sec.
She and I. 6 min. 44 sec.
Fighter. 9 min. 31 sec.
Grades 8 and up / Ages 13 and up.
Review by Dana L. Coates.
*** ½ /4
There are 10 short films compiled in this 77 minute DVD. The films are real life except for "The Little Prince" which is animated. Primarily the films are in French or an Aboriginal language as they were recorded in six remote communities in Quebec. However, "Fighter" is mostly in English. Wapikoni Mobile has English subtitles for the other nine films.
Wapikoni Mobile introduces its 2007 selection of films produced by First Nations people. The video got its name after the late Wapikoni Awashish, a young Atikamekw leader, who inspired this project. The second part of the name simply refers to the studio that travels on wheels to different communities. Festivals and public events held in Quebec, other parts of Canada and throughout the world were used to select these 10 finalists.
The films cover various themes from history and culture, to family and relationships, to distress and resilience. The films are about past events like residential schools and Treaty Number Nine. Then there are contemporary topics about going back to school and a story about a female boxer. Alcoholism, children taken away from their parents, single mothers, and failed relationships are topics interwoven throughout both the past and the present.
The City interestingly starts off with a guy canoeing home in the past and upon arriving home, his wife and baby are already living in the present. Objects rapidly change to the present which shows how quickly things change around us.
Fighter is very powerful as it is about a female boxer. One day, her ex-boyfriend beat her up. This event encouraged her to be stronger and fulfill her dream in boxing by not drinking and partying. She knew she had to get on with her life and do something with herself. She encourages viewers to stand up for what you believe in, be who you are, and prove to yourself you can accomplish something.
Wapikoni Mobile has excellent one-of-a-kind music as its goal is to give First Nations youth an opportunity to produce videos and record music. It has good, clear quality pictures where it is co-produced with the National Film Board of Canada. Also, the extensive training the film makers went through shows up in this well done video. Viewers can relate to the topics and learn valuable life lessons. The films are definitely educational. Be advised that there is some coarse language and topics not recommended for the young.
Dana L. Coates is a grade 6 teacher in Norway House, MB.
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