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.
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?
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