videoMatiu 'Tipatshimushtunan' by Jean-Vital Joliat
Jean-Vital Joliat has directed a moving film - part-documentary, part-music video - that tells the story of the Innu-Aimun, indigenous people from the Cote Nord part of Quebec, told largely through the testimony of an indominatable female elder.The first half of the film has her recalling forced assimilation into Western ways - and worse - as a child at a Catholic residential school in the village of Meliotenam in the 1940s. The second half focusses upon the music - the band Matiu performing Tipatshimushtunan - against footage of daily life in the village and surroundings, beautifully captured by Joliat, and DoP Graham Gs, and the efforts of local people to reclaim their own culture.But as Joliat makes clear in the text that punctuates the film, this is just one example of a much bigger, under-reported story in Canadian history. "'Tipatshimushtunan' means 'tell us' in Innu-Aimun," he explains. "Through this song, that speaks about the cultural genocide experienced by the native people, amongst other things, I wanted to create a hybrid documentary and music video project, where the word, testimony, and a part of history, would be at the very heart of the artistic process."I also wanted to bring a story to light that is neither well known in Canada, nor around the world, in order to raise awareness. My intention was to do something beautiful and raw, almost improvised, to capture the beauty of this native community in an honest way. Innu means 'human being' and this project is essentially based on this term."
David Knight - 8 months ago