You may remember from a previous post, the realization I made a few months ago, that the biographies section of my book collection was quite narrowly dedicated to portraits of Americans, especially American women.
I would therefore like to introduce you to Alanis Obomsawin, who among many professional endeavours, is a Canadian documentary filmmaker who has lived most of her life in the province of Quebec and who celebrated her 85th birthday August 31. Since 1967, she has documented First Nation experiences through her films. To my utter shame (especially considering that her most renown work is a documentary about the Oka Crisis), I learned about her only very recently through the below 2016 podcast from the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF):
Listen to Alanis Obomsawin on Why We Need to Listen More from TIFF UNCUT in Podcasts.
[I believe the animated film she refers to at the end is the short Four Faces of the Moon by Amanda Strong.]
I love her message that all her documentary work begins by listening to people.
“Time is the greatest gift you can give someone.”
“Everybody is important, every human being, everybody has a gift and you have to apply it. You’re here for a reason, find the best in you and express it.” (Video)
You may stream, free of charge, 22 of her 50 documentaries on the National Film Board (NFB) site. Canadian libraries may also hold some of her work in their collection.
Here’s also, an interview on the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) network from February 11, 2017 (starting at 21:22 ending at 32:33). Interviewer is Adrian Harewood.
And yes Adrian, I think she looks gorgeous too.