Oct 20, 7-9:45pm, Scotiabank Theatre, 190 Chain Lake Drive, festival.imaginenative.org for ticket details.
A Turtle Island-wide celebration of Indigenous film, the imagineNATIVE Festival sees in-person screenings of a selected, seminal movie at some Cineplex locations across various cities. The flick in question for Kjipuktuk? The buzzed-about 2021 release Bootlegger, by Algonquin director Caroline Monnet. The story traces protagonist Mani’s return to the northern Quebec reservation where she grew up—and her joining in the dizzying debate on free alcohol sales that divides the community as it attempts to achieve independence. With awards like Best Screenplay from the Cannes Film Festival and a coveted opening slot at Montreal’s Festival du nouveau cinéma, Monnet’s latest work—her debut feature, following a resume of over 10 shorts—might be her most lauded yet.
“It is resilience for me that is the most important,” Monnet says in an interview with Radio-Canada in late September, explaining that the prohibition debate at the film’s core is a way to highlight the inequalities still faced by many Indigenous communities. “How over the generations, we have managed to always be there, to stand up and to be able to go through a lot of intergenerational trauma.” She adds: “Before having reconciliation, there should be conciliation. We should be able to coexist equally and I think that there are still laws in place, which make us second-class citizens. The film is about that… how is it that we are not all equal before government structures.”