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concordia 25/09/2017 - 04:00PM

Cinema Politica Concordia Celebrates 14 Years of Screening Truth to Power with Marie Clements’s THE ROAD FORWARD

This past Monday (September 18th) more than 200 people gathered to help kick off Cinema Politica Concordia’s 2017 Fall Season. The program, which is called “Rise,” celebrates 14 years of powerful and empowering documentary screenings with a bang and a beat. The new Fall Season lineup stays true to CP’s tradition of unconventional programming. On September 18th, 2003 Cinema Politica Concordia opened year one with Elem Klimov’s anti-war fiction COME AND SEE, a drama that portrays the terrors of WWII through the thought provoking eyes of a young Belorussian boy. Equally unconventional, year 15 launched with Marie Clements’s (Métis/Dene) inventive and inspirational hybrid of musical, performance and documentary in THE ROAD FORWARD.  

THE ROAD FORWARD stars contemporary Indigenous artists, musicians, performers and vocalists from multiple Indigenous communities across so-called Canada and the United States who beautifully and fiercely use song and re-enactment to make visible and audible the past 80 years of oppressive colonial rule. The film, which is a tribute to First Nations activism and self determination, features interviews with members of The Native Brotherhood and Sisterhood, founded in British Columbia in the 1930s, whose collective efforts started the The Native Voice newspaper, which successfully served the goal in advocating for and protecting hunting and fishing rights for First Nations across British Columbia.

The many Indigenous musicians who perform in the film deploy music in order to unsettle historical moments in the colonial present by way of cultural intervenion and symbolic self-determination. Clements radicalizes the documentary form in pointing to a history of cultural omission in film, and honors the historical struggles for First Nations in what is a powerful call to action. The inspirational words of Indigenous activist and leader George Manuel are re-embodied by artist and rapper Ostwelve, also known as Ronnie Dean Harris, that represent the intergenerational momentum of Indigenous activism in commanding its perseverance. Manuel, Ostwelve, and Clements instruct: “You don’t ask for it. You take it.” 

Don’t miss Cinema Politica Concordia’s later fall features, which continue to screen Monday, September 25th with Cyrus Sutton’s ISLAND EARTH, a stunning documentary that looks to the human power being deployed against the increasingly poisonous agriculture in Hawai’i to ask the gruelling question - how can we feed the world without destroying it in the process? Following ISLAND EARTH, join Cinema Politica on October 2nd for the premiere screening of the first two parts of Michelle Latimer’s (Métis/Algonquin) eight part series titled RISE for Viceland: SACRED WATER: STANDING ROCK PART 1 & RED POWER: STANDING ROCK PART 2 . These two moving docs look at the Water Protectors camp, where protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline have been met with police brutality. SACRED WATER focuses on the protests of the water protectors of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation of North and South Dakota resisting the contamination of the Missouri River, their sacred water, and protecting the unity of the tribes of the Great Sioux Nation. RED POWER explores the history of the Red Power Movement through the occupation of Standing Rock, of 5,000 Red Warriors.

Ignite your week with Cinema Politica each Monday. See you in the Hall Building, H-110.


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