Fewer than 15 Nuxalk language speakers and storytellers remain in Bella Coola, British Columbia – and one of those elders is Banchi Hanuse’s 80-year-old grandmother.
Should the Nuxalk stories be recorded for future generations? That might seem like an obvious question, but for the filmmaker it is not so simple. She wonders whether an electronic recording can capture the true meaning and value of these oral traditions. More importantly, can the result be considered cultural knowledge?
What Banchi Hanuse finds is that Nuxalk stories are more than mere words – when an elder dies, an invaluable link to a treasure of knowledge and experience is lost. As the filmmaker struggles with these issues, Clyde Tallio, a young Nuxalk man, retells a spine-tingling story about the Cry Rock in the bend of the Atnarko River.
Immersive and revealing, Cry Rock blends vivid watercolour animation with interviews set against the wild beauty of the Bella Coola Valley.
Awards:Best Documentary Short, Vancouver Women in Film Festival; Best Documentary Short Subject and NFB Kathleen Shannon Award, Yorkton Film Festival, Sask., 2011; Audience Choice, Dawson City International Short Film Festival, Yukon, 2011
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