- The Meaning of Life
- Hugh Brody
- 82 Digibeta
- November 3, 2022 7:00
“Remarkably frank interviews … Brody allows [the inmates’] words to shape the direction of his film.”Fiona Morrow, Globe and Mail
“Here are voices from a new kind of prison.” In this deeply moving documentary, British filmmaker and anthropologist Hugh Brody, who has devoted much of his distinguished career to Indigenous issues in Canada, turns his attention to the B.C. prison system and to the services of a very unique Indigenous-focused centre. The Kwìkwèxwelhp Healing Village, a minimum security prison located on Sts’ailes (Chehalis First Nation) territory in the Fraser Valley, provides rehabilitation based on Indigenous teachings and spirituality. The Meaning of Life profiles 19 male inmates—Indigenous and non-Indigenous—as they enter into or continue a form of treatment that emphasizes community involvement, ceremonial practices, hands-on skills, elder education, and, above all, dignity for these men. Produced by Betsy Carson, shot by Kirk Tougas, edited by Haida Paul, and distributed by the Inuit collective Isuma, Brody’s penetrating film is a sobering yet hopeful portrait of healing through Indigenous wisdom and culture.
After the screening, Hugh Brody will be in conversation with Dan Small, Executive Director of Cineworks, followed by an audience Q&A.
Advisory: The Meaning of Life includes descriptions of residential school trauma.
The Cinematheque and Cineworks Independent Filmmakers Society are pleased to host an evening with British writer, anthropologist, and filmmaker Hugh Brody, featuring a screening of his made-in‑B.C. documentary, The Meaning of Life. Brody’s career, spanning more than half a century, has included contributions to research, academia, freelance writing, expert legal testimony, and filmmaking that explore complex social issues within the context of everyday life. His work as a documentarian has long maintained a socially conscious connection to Indigenous issues and community. Infused with application, advocacy, and activism, his films are at once portraits of lived experience and calls to action.