In the Land of the Head Hunters

USA/Canada 1914. Dir: Edward S. Curtis. 65 min. DCP

Opening Night
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A remarkable portrait of the Kwakwaka’wakw (formerly Kwakiutl) people of northern Vancouver Island and the central coast, In the Land of the Head Hunters was the first feature film made in B.C. and is the oldest extant feature made in Canada. It’s also the first feature made with an entirely indigenous North American cast. Directed by Edward S. Curtis, the renowned American photographer of First Nations life, the film mixes documentary and dramatic elements; it records authentic traditions and rituals, including the potlatch ceremony, but also offers an epic tale of love, war, and adventure set in pre-European times. It premiered in New York and Seattle in December 1914. This beautiful DCP restoration includes John J. Branham’s original 1914 score performed by Vancouver’s Turning Point Ensemble.


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— preceded by —

Behind the Masks
Canada 1973. Dir: Tom Shandel. 37 min. DigiBeta

The famed French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss discusses sacred masks made by First Nations of the Pacific Northwest, and visits a carver on Vancouver Island, in this short documentary by Vancouver’s Tom Shandel.

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Introduced by Colin Browne, Vancouver filmmaker, poet, scholar, and Professor Emeritus at SFU.