Alanis Obomsawin

Active - 1984 - 2017  |   Born - in Quebec, Canada  |   Genres - Culture & Society [nf], History [nf]

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Alanis Obomsawin is Canada's most renowned native filmmaker. All of her films center upon political and social issues surrounding modern Canadian native peoples. Before she was a filmmaker, Obomsawin was a singer and storyteller who attempted to instill traditional knowledge and cultural pride into the children. Her own childhood was difficult. She was born in Odansk upon the Abenaki reserve in northern Quebec. She was then moved to Trois Rivieres, Quebec where she was the only native child. There she suffered innumerable humiliations at the hands of teachers and peers; this constant denigration caused her to begin to rebel at age 12. In the late '50s, she moved to Montreal and, after surrounding herself with writers, photographers, and artists, began pursuing a singing career. Her increasing fame caught the attention of the National Film Board of Canada who began to consult her on different projects until she finally began making films of her own. Her first film, Christmas at Moose Factory (1971), used children's drawings and paintings to tell the story of Moose Factory. Obomsawin earned Canada's highest honor, the Governor-General's Award, in 1983 for her good work.

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