Sometimes a film tells an important story that leaves the audience deeply touched, filled with questions and answers and more questions.
Today I saw the newly released film – Indian Horse – based on the award-winning bestselling book by Richard Wagamese. This thought-provoking film www.indianhorse.ca is creative, informative, beautiful and deeply disturbing. Definitely a worthwhile choice for a book club or discussion group.
In the wake of Holocaust Remembrance Day this past week as well as the recent national tragedy of the Saskatchewan Humboldt Broncos Hockey Team and the aftermath, many of the film’s themes resonate intensely. The narrative of the Indigenous culture and Canadian First Nations, and the cruelty they suffered in church-based residential schools is incomprehensible. The power of hockey as a deeply rooted Canadian team sport is fundamental in this film. The image of a classic outdoor Canadian ice hockey rink appears throughout the film. The story is told through the lens of the Aboroginal Canadian boys playing on the Moose hockey team in Northern Ontario.
This impactful film, produced as a personal narrative – (retrospective spanning several decades) in Canadian historyis very much about family, history, tradition, assimilation, diversity, empathy and healing. Also a painful story about oppression, abuse and the devastating effects of alcoholism. The insightful coming-of-age story of a courageous young Ojibway boy is dramatic and captivating. I urge all Canadians to see this groundbreaking film; it certainly depicts dynamic characters and meaningful images, including the beautiful black Indian horse, for viewers to reflect upon. This bold film offers an artistic platform for significant dialogue.
We are all part of this story.