2020 Scarecrow Psychotronic Challenge Day 12: These Walls (2012)

DAY 12. THE FIRST WAVE: One by an indigenous filmmaker or indigenous cast members. 

Doreen Manuel is the sixth child of Grand Chief Dr. George Manuel and Marceline Manuel. From perusing her official site, I’ve learned that she’s a graduate of the Aboriginal Film and Television Diploma Program (AFTP) at Capilano University and earned her Master of Fine Arts in Film Production from UBC.

This film is informed by her extensive background working in First Nations education and community development in both rural and urban centers. And beyond that, she comes from a long line of oral historians and factual storytellers.

This is a short film with a big story behind it. The heroine, Mary (Grace Dove, an indigenous actress based in Vancouver, BC and Los Angeles, CA who appeared in The Revenant) and her mother Claire (Andrea Menard) discover the skeletons of children and babies at what is claimed to be a Catholic reservation school but what may as well be a concentration camp.

Despite her mother’s warnings, now Mary must confront the past that Claire has worked so hard to escape. Can the bones being taken away from the school destroy so much pain?

I was shocked just how much story fit into only nine minutes of running time. This deserves to be a much longer — and much more widely seen — story.

You can watch this movie on YouTube.

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