2009, Canada, 85 min, Digital Beta
Director: Neil Diamond, Catherine Bainbridge, Jeremiah Hayes
Presented as part of:
Oct 14 2009, 7:00PM
A powerful homage to North American Native people throughout a century of cinema, Reel Injun is a retelling of the history of the Hollywood Indian. Embarking on a personal quest to deconstruct the image of the stoic Indian that dotted television screens all over the world, Cree director Neil Diamond compares his own Northern-Canadian upbringing to the vastly different portrayals he grew up knowing and loving in the movies. With humour and insight, Diamond ventures into the heart of America’s southwest to uncover how Hollywood transformed the way the world viewed Native people. What emerges is a visual feast that includes clips from hundreds of Hollywood classics and candid interviews with cinema celebrities Robbie Robertson, Clint Eastwood, Graham Greene, Sacheen Littlefeather, John Trudell, and Jim Jarmusch. In charting the evolution of Native cinema from the silent era until today, Reel Injun honours and celebrates the future of authentic Indigenous cinema. A tribute to all people who believe that nations can come together to have their voices heard.
Neil Diamond hails from the Cree community of Waskaganish, on the coast of James Bay. His recent credits include The Last Explorer (2009), which premiered at imagineNATIVE 2008, One More River (2004), and Heavy Metal: A Mining Disaster in Northern Quebec (2004). The latter won the Audience Pick prize at Norway’s Riddu Riddu Festival. His 2001 directorial debut, Cree Spoken Here, garnered the Telefilm/APTN award for Best Aboriginal Documentary. In 1993 Diamond co-founded The Nation, the first news magazine to serve the Cree of Northern Quebec and Ontario. Neil is a creative member of Rezolution Pictures in Montreal.