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// Films // Biidaaban (The Dawn Comes)

Biidaaban (The Dawn Comes)

Amanda Strong / Canada / 2018 / 19 ' / English


Leanne Simpson, Bracken Hanuse Corlett & Amanda Strong
Amanda Strong & Dusty Hagerud

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Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) 2018

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In this short stop-motion animation Biidaaban sets out to harvest sap from Sugar Maples, working in continuum with Sabe, and other spirit beings.


Biidaaban sets out to harvest sap from Sugar Maples in urban Ontario neighbourhoods. The practice of harvesting sap to create syrup goes back to time immemorial for the Anishinaabe people. Harvesting this sap in what is now a neighbourhood primarily inhabited by non-Anishinaabe people, carries implications and questions about land ownership and stewardship. The lands that were used by the Anishinaabeg and the four-legged and winged creatures have been covered over by urban development and occupation. Biidaabaan can see the traces of the people, creatures, land and time. They work to continue in their ancestors movements.

Biidaaban is a young Anishinaabe gender non-binary person that can see through multiple dimensions while existing and moving in their present time and space. Biidaaban is sometimes accompanied by their shape-shifter friend Sabe (Sasquatch). Ghost Caribou, Ghost Wolf and ancestors are also imbedded within the story, but only Biidaaban can see them. They act as reminders of what exists in this space and provide lessons about honesty, humility and working for the people.

In this short stop-motion animation time will freeze and warp. We see echoes from the past, but we remain steadfast in the present. The neighbourhood acts as both a settler compound and Indigenous space. Biidaaban must overcome their fear of getting caught while harvesting sap from these trees. Who owns these trees? Who has the right to use them? Although Biidaaban appears to be alone they are surrounded by spirits and fused with the collective.


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