Queen's University

Aboriginal presence and the figure of the white mediator in First Nations cinema

For many decades, First Nations were a favorite subject for filmmakers who portrayed themselves as the mediators of a culture viewed from an outside point of view. The recent takeover of their representation by the natives themselves has allowed a reversal of roles, the image of their culture through a revitalization of ancestral memory and the creation of a new audiovisual community gathered around the film. This article attempts to demonstrate how, in works such as The day before the next day (2008) and Atanarjuat (2001), the figure of the white mediator becomes in his turn "third absent", his presence being tacitly suggested to inside the diegesis as well as through the appropriation of a foreign medium.  The author also shows how the film and its participants, in turn, appear as memory runners, through the relationship that is created between the work and the spectators during the screenings organized in the communities. (Read More)