Monday, December 11, 2017

The Road Forward a documentary made of feelings

November 17, 2017 by Renata Silva, contributing writer

The documentary The Road Forward, directed by Marie Clements, brings the story of the rise of indigenous activism in British Columbia to the big screen. The documentary encourages viewers to look at indigenous culture and history from the perspective of indigenous people.

The Road Forward plays at The Vic Theatre on Saturday, November 18 (photo provided).

Clements does a very good job with making the audience feel closer to the people in the movie, which helps viewers relate to their story. A crucial moment that helps build the mood of the documentary comes early, when people introduce themselves and explain where they’re from. In that moment, the movie changes from being just facts, dates, and impersonal connections and creates a relationship between the audience and the people on the screen.

Throughout its 101 minutes, the documentary develops a chronological timeline through articles from The Native Voice, a BC newspaper that was run by First Nations people. The paper works almost as another living character, and is able to show perspectives both past and present.

The music and songs in the movie help to tell the story and bring an element of emotion that works very well with the narrative. It gives viewers a break from the usual documentary technique of just narrating the story and helps to keep people totally connected with the story.

The Road Forward is a result of some very deep research on the history of indigenous activism. It’s a feeling movie—the audience can feel the hope, fear, happiness, and anger of those on the screen. Viewers just need to be ready to listen and embrace it all, because, whether we like it or not, those feelings are part of our country’s story.

The Road Forward
(with director Marie Clements in attendance)
7 pm Saturday, November 18
The Vic Theatre
victoriafilmfestival.com

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