CFUV @ VFF 2019: Edge of the Knife

Written by on 01/29/2019


I was incredibly excited for this film, because of its unique storyline and the larger significance of it being the first feature length film spoken entirely in the Haida dialects. SGaawaay K’uuna (English translation: Edge of the Knife) is set in 19th century Haida Gwaii. After a tragedy occurs, Adiits’ii retreats from his family into the wilderness and is there transformed into Gaagiid/Gaagiixiid, a ‘Wildman.’ There is a lot of thematic significance in the cinematic rendering of this early Haida legend. Although the storyline is ancient, parallels to present-day issues of Indigenous reconciliation are readily apparent. The narrative illuminates a process of losing one’s self and then struggling to re-integrate back into a community. While Edge of the Knife is compelling because of its beautiful imagery and unique storyline, it is also a notable work of cinema in that the film itself can be seen as an act of reclamation. Film, a historically patriarchal and anglo-centric medium, is re-appropriated to tell the story of a people and language that needs to be heard now more than ever.

SGaawaay K’unna will have its Victoria premiere on February 6th, and I encourage everyone to come out to show their support for indigenous cinema and experience this captivating story set on one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world.

Screening 6pm on Wednesday February 6th @ the Dave Dunett Theatre. Tickets can be purchased online at victoriafilmfestival.com

-Amy Anderson

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