Sinixt matriarch Marilyn James. Photo Credit: Louis Bockner
Photo Credit: Louis Bockner

Beyond Extinction: Sinixt Resurgence

by Ali Kazimi
Beyond Extinction is a compelling work of beauty and solidarity that traces Indigenous matriarchs’ fight to revive traditions and save ancient burial grounds in BC’s Slocan Valley.
2022  ·  1h22m  ·  Canada
English, Snsəlxcín
About the Film

BEYOND EXTINCTION: SINIXT RESURGENCE documents three decades of Indigenous struggle by the Sinixt people whose traditional territories are divided by the border between Southwest British Columbia and the USA. To tell a complex story never told, and investigate how the Canadian government declared the Sinixt people to be “extinct”, the film weaves together contemporary interviews, oral histories and personal as well as public archive. Along this journey, we see the Sinixt fight deportation, challenge Canada’s immigration laws and seek recognition for themselves and their traditional practices under Canada’s constitution.

Director Ali Kazimi’s journey began in 1995, when he was invited and granted intimate access to the community-building work of the autonomous Sinixt peoples in the face of the harm done by the Indian Act, colonialism, residential schools, and borders. Kazimi follows the journey of matriarchs Marilyn James, Eva Orr and Alvina Lum, and the communities supporting them as they repatriate the remains of ancestors held in museums, fight against logging in their traditional territories, revive ceremonies, convey oral histories and fight against erasure by the Canadian state.

Upcoming Screenings

Stay tuned for upcoming screenings!

Writer, Director, Producer
Ali Kazimi
Susan Shanks
Ali Kazimi
Additional Cinematography
Tucker Anderson
Drone Footage
Tucker Anderson, Isaac Carter, Michelle Connolly, Douglas Noblet
Location Sound
Jeff Carter, Scott Humphries, Ali Kazimi
Sound Editors
Scott Purdy, Phil Strong
Music Composer
Phil Strong
Scott Purdy
Julie Witmer - Custom Map Design
Visual Research
Ali Kazimi, Susan Shanks
Archival Clearances
Jocelyne Clarke
On-line Editor & Colourist
Tony Manolikakis
About the Director

Ali Kazimi

Headshot of director Ali Kazimi. Photocredit: Michael Barker
Photocredit: Michael Barker

In 2019, Ali Kazimi was honoured with the Governor General’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in Visual and Media Arts for over three decades of ground-breaking work as a documentary and media artist whose work deals with race, social justice, migration, history, and memory. His film Continuous Journey (2004), alongside his book, Undesirables: White Canada and the Komagata Maru (2011), have played a key role in shedding light on the forgotten histories of early South Asian immigration to Canada. Born, raised, and educated in India, Kazimi came to Canada to study film production at York University in 1983. Two decades later, after establishing himself as an award-winning independent filmmaker, Kazimi returned to York University.

He is a full Professor in the Department of Cinema & Media Arts, where he has also served as the Chair of the Department. Kazimi’s films have received over two dozen national and international honours and awards, been screened in prestigious festivals and broadcast nationally and internationally. His films include: Narmada; A Valley Rises (1994), Shooting Indians: A Journey with Jeffrey Thomas (1997), Continuous Journey (2004) and Random Acts of Legacy (2016). The University of British Columbia conferred an honorary degree, Doctor of Letters (honoris causa), to Kazimi in 2019.

Other films by Ali Kazimi