Indigenous author shows film adaptation of Three Feathers

By Angela Brown
January 11, 2019 - 12:00pm

Acclaimed Indigenous author Richard Van Camp hopes to raise people's awareness about the value of Restorative Justice in society with the screening of the new film Three Feathers.

Van Camp visited North Battleford Comprehensive High School Thursday to show the film which is an adaptation of his graphic novel by the same name. 

The visit is one of several stops for Van Camp, who is giving screenings throughout the region so more people can view the film.

The story focuses on the lives of three Indigenous youths who are given a second chance after committing a home invasion and an assault on an elder. Instead of being sent to prison for their punishment, the youths were ordered to spend the next nine months living off the land with two wise elders, learning about their own culture and how to be better people. The film also reflects the difficult upbringing the teens faced growing up in unstable homes where substance abuse was common. However, through the healing aspect of restorative justice, the film also offers hope for the future. 

The film was shot around Fort Smith, NWT, and took about three years to make.

"I wanted to take the graphic novel and change what was ever happening in our community," Van Camp, who is also from Fort Smith, said. "I wanted to fix it and show the power of restorative justice."

He described the film essentially about “reconciling oneself for one’s actions, and wanting to make amends.” 

He added the film will be available in Bush Cree, Dene, and South Slavey as well as English languages.

Van Camp recently also screened the film at schools in Leoville, Sask., and Cut Knife.

He said he looks forward to its debut at the first upcoming major international festival showcase at the Available Light Film Festival in Whitehorse, Yukon, next month.

Van Camp said he expects the powerful film will also be screened at the Toronto International Film Festival in the fall this year. 

Living Sky School Division Indigenous Learning Consultant Sherron Burns told battlefordsNOW following the local screening that the film addresses many relevant issues.

"I think in this topic of reconciliation it’s so important that we bring lots of different voices into our discussions,” she said. 

Burns added author Van Camp is able to make people laugh, while also "really think about things and, challenge us.”

“It’s really important to have that kind of voice for the students,” she added.


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