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// Films // Thunder Blanket (Episode 1)

Thunder Blanket (Episode 1)

Roxann Whitebean & Brittany Leborgne / Canada / 2016 / 15 ' / English


Rebecca Lessard
Roxann Whitebean & Brittany Leborgne
Bill Stone
Lynn Trepanier
Pablo Villegas
Chris Leon
Roxann Whitebean
Created by: Roxann Whitebean, Tracey Deer
Production Coordinator: Sasha Deer

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When diagnosed with breast cancer, a Mohawk mother struggles with the decision to undergo chemotherapy and risk losing her hair—a marker of identity and strength.


THUNDER BLANKET is a 5-part series that explores a young Mohawk woman’s battle against breast cancer and the complexity of being a traditionalist searching for a cure in a modern world.

Roxann Karonhiarokwas Whitebean, a young mother and independent filmmaker, finds her career grinding to a halt when she is diagnosed with breast cancer a mere three days after shooting her first short film. With the help and support of her family, she struggles to cope with the shock of the diagnosis, the continued demands of raising a household of four, and the anxiety towards the long road to recovery ahead of her.

In this episode, faced with the loss of her independence and outside pressure to undergo a traditional healing process, Roxann decides to strike a balance between traditional and modern treatment methods, all while bracing herself for the traumatic first step in the journey: losing her hair — a marker of identity and strength for Indigenous women.


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