Local Sightings 2019 - Indigenous Showcase: SGaawaay K'uuna (Edge of the Knife) w/ dukʷibəɫ swatixʷtəd (Changer's Land)
$13 General Admission
SGaawaay K'uuna (Edge of the Knife)
(Helen Haig-Brown & Gwaai Edenshaw, 2018, Canada, 100 min)
In a 19th-century summer, two large families gather for their annual fishing retreat on the far-removed island of Haida Gwaii. Adiits’ii, a charming nobleman, accidentally causes the death of his best friend Kwa’s son and hastens into the wilderness. Adiits’ii is tormented by what he has done and spirals into insanity, becoming Gaagiixid, a supernatural being crazed by hunger. He unexpectedly survives the winter, and at next year’s gathering, the families try to convert Gaagiixid back to Adiitst’ii.
ABOUT THE HAIDA WORLD
SGaawaay K’uuna, Edge of the Knife, was filmed in Haida Gwaii, an archipelago in Haida territory in the Pacific. The film is based on Haida story-telling elements and inspired by the lands and waters where Haida thrive. Haida people are the rightful Title-holders to Haida Gwaii, where they have lived since at least the end of the Last Ice Age, over 12,000 years ago.
Haida preserve knowledge intergenerationally by meticulously reciting a canon of oral histories called K’aygang.nga. These stories carry us back across time to the moment Taadll cried out for the fate of the supernatural beings, who lay stretched out across the surface of the formless expanse. Nang Kildlaas Hll.nga shaped the cosmos, providing the supernatural beings with places to settle. Thereafter Haida emerged into the world, singing and dancing alongside our coastal neighbors.
Since then K’aygang.nga have inspired us to strive for excellence in weaving and building, carving and painting, singing and dancing. Despite the hardships of colonization Haida continue to excel in all things. Today tremendous monuments of cedar, life-like masks of alder, delicate clothes of spruce, and soft dishes of stone remind Haida of their supernatural origins, and enrich public and private collections throughout the world. In Haida Gwaii we bring all these living beings together through ‘waahlGahl, our coastal legal system, where guests gather to witness K’aygang.nga enacted.
Today we are grateful to you, our witness, as we embark into a medium new to us. As our story unfolds, we hope you will find traces of the excellence, diligence, and sincerity that characterize the works of our ancestors. Haawa, haawa, haawa.
Co-presented with Longhouse Media, as a part of Indigenous Showcase, an ongoing series which features and uplifts Native and Indigenous filmmakers and their work. One of two such programs presented at Local Sightings 2019.
Screens with... dukʷibəɫ swatixʷtəd (Changer's Land)
(Tracy Rector, 2019, US, 5 min)
The land endures despite foreign incursions of power plants and highways, as the people sing and drum in celebration of the ocean, mountains and creatures of the Salish Sea.
Back to Festival Catalog
Presented by Seattle’s Northwest Film Forum, the 22nd Annual Local Sightings Film Festival (September 20-29, 2019) showcases the growing complexity of creative communities in the Pacific Northwest. Its 2019 edition features a competitive selection of curated shorts and feature film programs, inviting regional artists to experiment, break, and remake popular conceptions around filmmaking and film exhibition.
Programmed closely with community partners as curators, the festival uplifts new talent, provides educational opportunities for youth and adults, supports the regional film industry, and promotes diverse media as a critical tool for public engagement.