The Okanagan Screen Arts Society presents Indian Horse at the Vernon Towne Cinema June 25. (Elevation Pictures image)

Okanagan Screen Arts shows touching survivor tale of indigenous spirit

Indian Horse plays at the Vernon Towne Cinema June 25

Bonnie Anderson

Special to The Morning Star

Indian Horse, winner of Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary and Edmonton International Film Festivals for best feature film, best Canadian film and People’s Choice Awards is showing June 25 at Vernon Towne Cinema by Okanagan Screen Arts Society.

Based on the novel by Richard Wagamese, who is also well known for writing North of 60, this film follows the life of a Canadian First Nations boy from northern Ontario, Saul Indian Horse, played at different stages in his life by Sladen Peltier, Forrest Goodluck and Ajuawak Kapashesit.

In the late 1950s, seven-year-old Saul is traumatically separated from his family and forced to attend one of Canada’s notorious Catholic residential schools. There he must survive inhumane treatment, abuse, and racism as he is forced to give up his language, culture and even his name.

To mentally escape this oppressive and dreary environment, he teaches himself to play hockey and he soon discovers that he has a natural ability and exceptional skill for the sport. Through hockey he finds salvation and the game eventually allows him to leave the residential school where he finds some success in the minor hockey leagues and eventually the pros. However, he cannot escape his difficult past and he must find his own path as he battles stereotypes and alcoholism as he tries to come to terms with the ghosts that haunt him.

This is a personal story that honestly addresses some of the worst periods in Canadian history. There are conflicting values which involve generations of indigenous families practising traditional spirituality while the younger adult generation, who have been brainwashed in the residential schools, insist that Christianity is the only acceptable belief system.

There are also conflicting approaches in the residential school where a reforming priest believes in a compassionate approach to the children’s assimilation versus a nun whose approach uses any means necessary to “Christianize” the children.

Indian Horse screens at 5:15 and 7:45 p.m. A pre-show intro by resident filmmaker Matt McDowell and live music before the early show by Les Copeland are also on offer. Advance tickets are available at the Bean Scene or Towne Cinema box office.


@VernonNews
newstips@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Stevenson pushes Eagles past Vipers

Surrey 2 Vernon 1 in overtime at Bauer Showcase

Birds being fed in Vernon parking lot not a great idea

Vernon wildlife control services owner says feeding ducks and geese, or any wildlife, is bad

BX Falls Trail closed for sedimentation removal

Starting Tuesday, Sept. 25, the RDNO will be closing the lower section of BX Falls Trail.

Vernon fourth in Royal Rumble volleyball

20-team Douglas College volleyball tourney

Retired Vernon broadcaster ‘a common sense’ choice for council

Gord Leighton, a former Prince George councillor, is seeking a seat on Vernon council

Weekday weather update

A look at your Okanagan-Shuswap weekday weather for Sept. 24

Edmonton cannabis company revenues more than triples to $19.1 million

Aurora Cannabis revenues more than triple in fourth quarter

B.C. pharmacist suspended for giving drugs with human placenta

RCMP had samples of the seized substances tested by Health Canada

Seattle one step closer to NHL after arena plan approved

Seattle City Council unanimously approved plans for a privately funded $700 million renovation of KeyArena

Village Gallery welcomes Erin Foggoa

Erin Foggoa’s work is on display throughout September and October

Harvest Moon to light up B.C. skies with an ‘autumn hue’

It’s the first moon after the autumn equinox

Hockey league gets $1.4M for assistance program after Humboldt Broncos crash

Program will help players, families, coaches and volunteers after the shock of the deadly crash

New arts council formed in Lake Country

Get to Know Us Extravaganza is Sept. 29

Most Read