There is no Innu word for "poetry", notes Josephine Bacon at the beginning of Kim O’Bomsawin’s enchanting, affectionate and transporting portrait of the septuagenarian writer, filmmaker, translator and, yes, poet. "I don’t think we needed one. We were poets simply by living in harmony with the water and the land."
Bacon only published her first volume of poems in 2009, but is already recognized as one of the most important Montreal writers. O’Bomsawin enjoys a deep rapport with her gregarious subject, who recounts her life primarily through celebrating the friendships she found along the way, during 14 years at a residential school, arriving with nothing in the big city in the late 60s, and indelibly, in her forays north, to the back country where she learned firsthand from elders and began to comprehend the complex and fragile, interlocking legacies of land, language and lore bestowed upon her. Bacon’s poetry is a vehicle to keep her people’s ancient tongue alive. Her words – and O’Bomsawin’s layered and lovely images – convey just how precious a gift this is. It’s an irresistible film.
Winner: Best Canadian Documentary, VIFF 2020
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Please note that VIFF 2020 online films can be viewed in British Columbia only.