Cinema and Representation

This theme focuses on the ways in which Aboriginal peoples have been represented in NFB documentaries. Film excerpts illustrate how the representation of Aboriginal peoples has evolved over the last fifty years.

Excerpts


Caribou Hunters

Caribou Hunters 1


César's Bark Canoe/César et son Canot d'écorce

César's Bark Canoe/César et son Canot d'écorce 1


Circle of the Sun

Circle of the Sun 2


The Other Side of the Ledger: An Indian View of the Hudson's Bay Company

The Other Side of the Ledger: An Indian View of the Hudson's Bay Company 2


Totem: The Return of the G'psgolox Pole

Totem: The Return of the G'psgolox Pole 1

Circle of the Sun

1960, Director: Low, Colin

excerpt 2      3 min 7 s


 


Description In 1961, Pete Standing Alone, a Blood Indian of Alberta, narrated this film directed by Colin Low, a non-Aboriginal. Standing Alone warns of the extinction of the Sun Dances and the old way of life. This is a wake-up call to the young and old to preserve the ritual dances.
Questions

1. Describe the scene at the Grass Dance. Does the filming of ceremonies and rituals have an impact on the viewers’ perception of the people associated with the cultures portrayed?

2. What prediction is made by the narrator regarding the Sun Dance and other Aboriginal ceremonies? Can you identify the factors that have helped to prevent the prediction from coming to fruition?


About This Film

Synopsis

At the 1956 gathering of the Blood Indians of Alberta, the exciting spectacle of the Sun Dance was captured on film for the first time. The film examines Blood Indian culture and spirituality, showing how the theme of the circle reflects their connection to wildlife, and addresses the predicament of the young generation--those who have relinquished their ties with their own culture but have not yet found a firm place in a changing world.

Director: Colin Low
Writing: Colin Low
Producer: Tom Daly
Editing: Tom Daly
Writing: Stanley Jackson
Photography: John Spotton
Photography: Dalton Muir
Sound: George Croll
Sound: Ron Alexander
Sound: Erik Nielsen
Sound: Kathleen Shannon
Consultant: Jim Whitebull
Voice and Narration: Pete Standing Alone
Music: Eldon Rathburn


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