Thursday, 5 September 2013

TIFF13: There's Something About Alanis Obomsawin (Hi-Ho Mistahey)

HI-HO MISTAHEY. There's something about award-winning director Alanis Obomsawin that the subjects of her documentaries must see as well. I'm not going to try and define it except to say that she has a touch that enables her to draw you into watching difficult subject matters on screen. A documentary about First Nations children demanding their rights to an education? Haven't I heard about these issues before? Yes, but what Alanis does in Hi-Ho Mistahey (as she does in all films) is engage both her participants and her viewers so that they connect: their story becomes ours. How can the Canadian government turn a blind eye to children loosing interest in school as early as grade 4? A string of freeing cold, vermin-infested portables has been the only "school" available to Attawapiskat First Nation children for over a decade, ever since their school proper was demolished because it turned out it was build on a toxic dump. Inspired by the late child activist Shannen Koostachin, Attawapiskat children took their cry for "safe and comfy schools, and equal education" rights to the UN in Geneva. Hi-Ho Mistahey is an eye-opening documentary about a subject we thought we knew all about, a subject whose easy fix makes its continuance all the more heartbreaking and infuriating.

Saturday September 7
TIFF Bell Lightbox 1
4:30 PM

Monday September 9
Jackman Hall
2:00 PM

Saturday September 14
Jackman Hall
6:00 PM

Toronto International Film Festival
September 5 - 15, 2013
Get Tickets: 
416.599.TIFF | 1.888.599.8433 |

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I was reviewing past coverage of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and realized that as good as it is to use social media, I m...