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Additional info for Alanis Obomsawin: The Vision of a Native Filmmaker
Much is kept conﬁdential in Beautiful Losers, yet much is revealed if one looks in the right direction. Rather than the saintly Mohawk with whom Obomsawin is sometimes linked, it is the narrator’s twenty-something wife, Edith, who was, the narrator “confesses,” an “A——” (bl, 20), with whom she has far more in common. Confusion between the two female characters that Cohen has imagined is understandable: he spins between them with jump-cut velocity, describing historical facts about the seventeenth-century saint in one sentence, then imploring Edith to kiss him in the next (bl, 96).
For example, the ﬁlm is drenched with extreme expressions of bloodlust on the part of the colonists that seem like warrior machismo in one light and mental illness in another. 0pt PgV ——— Normal Page PgEnds: TEX , (11) 12 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 ABENAKI BEGINNINGS pieces of it to curb his hunger. He even shares bits of the head with fellow Rangers (who, to be fair, do not realize what he is feeding them until later).
No matter what I do, I will always sing,” she said much later. ”54 As tiring as it was, touring across Canada had a long-term beneﬁt for her: in learning how to tell stories about Native life to a diverse audience, she was getting a foundation that would serve her well as a documentary ﬁlmmaker. Her performances also brought her to the attention of the nfb, one of the most prestigious institutions of its kind in the world and the place that would be her creative home for decades to come. Joining the nfb Obomsawin almost backed into her job at the nfb, which in the 1960s was not the sort of place that a Native woman would expect to join, especially not in the prestigious role of staff ﬁlmmaker.