The Image Before Us: A History of Film in British Columbia – Take 5
Screening Dates
  • January 28, 2019 6:30

This feature-length documentary traces the journey of the Haisla people to reclaim the G’psgolox totem pole that went missing from their B.C. village in 1929. The fate of the 19th-century traditional mortuary pole remained unknown for over sixty years until it was discovered in a Stockholm museum, where it is considered state property by the Swedish government. Director Gil Cardinal combines interviews, striking imagery, and rare footage of master carvers to raise questions about ownership and the meaning of Indigenous objects held in museums” (National Film Board of Canada). Cardinal, an Alberta-born Métis, also directed Foster Child, named one of Canada’s 150 essential moving-images works in 2017’s Canada on Screen program.

followed by

Totem: Return and Renewal
Canada 2007
Gil Cardinal
23 min. DCP

In this follow-up to his 2003 film Totem: The Return of the G’psgolox Pole, filmmaker Cardinal documents the events of the final journey of the G’psgolox Pole as it returns home to Kitamaat Village and the Haisla Nation, from where it went missing in 1929” (National Film Board of Canada).

Introduced by Lindsay McIntyre (MFA/​Inuk/​Settler), filmmaker and Assistant Professor, Film + Screen Arts, Emily Carr University