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concordia 30/01/2013 - 05:00AM

Alanis Obomsawin screens her new film at CP Concordia

Cinema Politica Concordia was honoured to have Alanis Obomsawin present during a screening of her powerful new documentary, THE PEOPLE OF THE KATTAWAPISKAK RIVER, last night (with about 550 in attendance!). To mark the occasion, which occurred in soldarity with Idle No More and on a day of action, organizers gave Obomsawin the new book celebrating George Littlechild's artwork, The Spirit Giggles Within.

Littlechild is a West Coast based artist, educator and activist, whose work explores issues of identity, history, colonialism, racism and family. 

It turns out Ms. Obomsawin is familiar with Littlechild's work and told us that he once was moved by a song he heard by her (before making documentaries, Ms. Obomsawin was a singer), so much that he decided to write her a letter.

Ms. Obomsawin has made 38 films (most with the National Film Board of Canada) over a career spanning four decades, and has maintained a compassionate dedication to highlighting the struggles, and resistance, of Canada's indigenous population, and others on the margins of mainstream society.

Cinema Politica has an award named after Ms. Obomsawin, who turned 80 this year, called The Alanais Obomsawin Award for Commitment to Community and Resistance. The first award was given out in 2011 to activist and filmmaker John Greyson.

Littlechild's book title reminds us that in both Obomsawin and Littlechild's work there is not only a serious and engaged effort to fight injustice through art, but also to allow the moments of levity, of hope, humility and humour, that can lift the spirit in difficult and challenging times.

As screening organizers who have showed several of Ms. Obomsawin's work, we'd like to thank for her art, her committment to fighting injustice, and for her unassailable optimism and generosity.


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