The Road Forward
Ignite | Vancity Theatre Screening
Casting a much needed spotlight on the untold histories of BC First Nations, by rights Marie Clements' non-fiction musical should immediately be installed as required viewing on the school curriculum.
There is much to learn: about the Native Brotherhood, for example, a loose affiliation of west coast tribes cooperating to secure aboriginal rights, for instance; how the indomitable Maisie Hurley fulfilled her promise to a Haida elder (Aflred Adams) to found a newspaper to campaign for aboriginal rights (The Native Voice was published out of Vancouver from the late 1940s and into the 1960s); and the story of the Constitution Express, a movement led by George Manuel, culminating in a 3000 mile trip to Ottawa to impress the case for indigenous rights on Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau in 1980s.
These inspirational activist tales are recounted through eye-witness testimony, through reenactment, and, crucially, through Wayne Lavallee's rock, rap, and folk/blues score.
The piece began as a performance at the Aboriginal Pavilion during the 2010 Olympics, and it's hard to imagine a conventional documentary filmmaker shaping the material in quite this fashion, but as it has evolved through various forms and iterations The Road Forward has accrued fascinating layers linking past to present (and future), film to theatre, music, and oral history, politics to art, and performance to principle. It has the fire of a true passion project, and will come as a revelation and a wake up call to many in our community.
Filmaker Q&A on Friday, July 14, with additional guests.
Marie Clements (Métis/Dene) is an award‐winning writer, director and producer of film, television, radio, new media and live performance. Her work as a filmmaker includes the award‐winning 2015 docudrama Number 14 and the 2013 short drama Pilgrims, which screened at TIFF and Telefilm Canada’s Not Short on Talent program at the Cannes Market. Her short documentary The Language of Love was an official selection at Hot Docs in 2012.
"Brave and unflinching, and plays much shorter than its actual running time; it is engaging on so many levels" Jim Tobler, Monte Cristo