The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open
Sea to Sky | BC Spotlight | High School Outreach
Discovering Rosie (Violet Nelson), a pregnant teenager, sobbing and barefoot on a rainy East Vancouver street, Áila (Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers) swiftly intercedes, initially offering shelter in her own apartment before working feverishly to get the girl access to proper support networks so that she needn’t return to her abusive home. As these two Indigenous women embark on a revelatory odyssey to a safe house, they must confront society’s assumptions about them, overcome their preconceptions about one another, and reflect on their own respective self-images.
Unfolding in a series of masterful long takes shot on 16mm by cinematographer Norm Li, this deft drama from Tailfeathers and Kathleen Hepburn (Never Steady, Never Still) employs a riveting combination of intimacy and immediacy. The urgency of the "real time" pacing is complemented by the inherent drama of their tenuous bond. A small-scale, high-stakes story shaped by larger socioeconomic and cultural forces, The Body Remembers is one of the most significant narrative films this city has produced.
"The performances by Tailfeathers and Nelson, playing women who seem worlds apart, are heavy and complicated, burdened with both history and the urgent issues facing Indigenous women today." - Radheyan Simonpillai, NOW