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#TIFF19 Review: Now is the Time (Short Cuts)

September 3, 2019

By John Corrado

★★★ (out of 4)

Back in 1969, after local religious authorities ordered that all of the totem poles be cut down as part of Canada’s widespread erasure of Indigenous culture, the celebrated Haida artist Robert Davidson became responsible for carving the first new totem pole to be put up in nearly a century in his village of Old Massett. Davidson was only 22 years old at the time, and with the support of his entire family, he was able to help ensure the preservation of their culture with the raising of this totem pole.

Directed by Indigenous filmmaker Christopher Auchter, the short documentary Now is the Time combines archival footage from the National Film Board, which was shot by their Indian Film Crew as it was known at the time, as well as new interviews with Davidson and others, who recall the emotional events of that day in August of 1969 when the entire community came together for the pole raising. The result is an engaging and bittersweet celebration of art and culture that has been beautifully assembled in a small but impactful package.

Public Screenings (Short Cuts Programme 07)

Monday, September 9th – 6:30 PM at Scotiabank Theatre

Sunday, September 15th – 6:15 PM at Scotiabank Theatre

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