Rise is a Canadian documentary series directed by Michelle Latimer and hosted by Sarain Carson-Fox which profiles indigenous activists in various parts of the Americas. Several episodes received a preview screening at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival shortly before the program’s television premiere on Viceland and APTN.
“This year, Sundance has a special climate program. It’s the first time the festival has done a thematic program. And so we showed three episodes that kind of deal with climate and environment,” Michelle Latimer says in an interview with Peter Knegt from CBC Arts. She goes on to state that Rise is about more than the environment, that it is a political fight for sovereignty and liberation. “They’re not just Native issues — they affect everybody,” she says. “Our water’s not for sale; our land is not for sale. We were the original stewards of that land, and we have to be able to protect it.”
Ashley Mackenzie undoubtedly added to Canadian film culture with her feature film Werewolf. As a fellow Cape Bretoner, seeing a film of this caliber made about life on the Island made me very excited for the future of film in Cape Breton. The authenticity of this film was moving, having seen Cape Breton struggle with many issues, particularly with opioid addiction. The main characters of this film show us the true depth of this way of living in a very candid way. Centering on addiction, love and reality the film pulls you in all of those directions. This wonderfully shot and edited film is of worth note for its authenticity.
A young Canadian filmmaker, Ashley Mackenzie is sure to build from here and you can see why in this short roll up of her Q & A after her screening at The Ottawa Arts Court in April 2018 on National Canadian Film Day hosted by The Canadian Film Institute.
This film should be celebrated for many reasons as the cinematography, emotion and raw aspects of lives mundane suffering, longing to break free platitudes are all encapsulated in this work.
See a few highlights of her post screening Q & A here.