The Wind Rises is a biopic of Jiro Horikoshi, the brilliant designer of Mitsubishi fighter planes used extensively in the Sino-Japanese War and WWII. Yet despite legendary director Hayao Miyazaki being an avowed pacifist, the film glosses over Horikoshi's culpability in making war machines. By avoiding politics, the movie becomes undone by it.
Hi-Ho Mistahey! is not the joyless catalogue of wrongs I feared. For every grievance the film portrays, it offers equal evidence of inspiring First Nations youth working proactively to improve their situation. Still, while It would be nice if the fix for education in Attawapiskat and other reserves were as straightforward as a better building and more money, the solution is very unlikely to be that easy. The engaging movie would have more impact if it recognized more explicitly that securing more government funding for on-reserve schools is just one piece in a much larger, and more complex, puzzle.
This week saw the kickoff of the Toronto International Film Festival and all the line-ups, cameras, parties, celeb sightings (and stalkings), road closures, red carpet poses, and chaos that go with it. TIFF usually makes me cranky. The whole lining up for tickets you've already bought thing makes no sense. And why the herding of audience members outdoors in inclement weather? Enter HuffPost's Spotlight on TIFF blog series. Hearing from directors such as Atom Egoyan and Alanis Obomsawin has been a refreshing reminder of what the festival is really about. It's not just a venue for waiting around and celeb stalking. It's the place an incredibly creative, hardworking group of people choose to share their deeply felt visions with an audience for the first time. Looked at that way, TIFF feels more like a privilege than a hassle.
The interviewers, who were all women, all asked me the same two questions with a grimace: "So did you have a scene where you had to... be physical...with a 14-year-old?" And I tried to explain, to make light, to assure them that it was... obviously uncomfortable but really honestly it was...fine. But I didn't have the time to explain myself; the interview moved on. Judgment was passed. My character in the film doesn't have a good defense.
Twenty years ago, three young boys were found murdered in a forest. The crime scene was appalling and -- most mysteriously -- there was no hard evidence. Who could have committed these horrors? If the evil force that killed the boys couldn't be found, then a comprehensible solution needed to be conjured. For all the talk of Satanic ritual and blood sacrifices discussed in the case, it is my firm belief that the only real act of magic was performed by the prosecution team as they convinced a jury to find three young men guilty in the complete absence of any physical proof.
I've watched enough rabid fans make terrible stalking mistakes only to be shut down by security to know exactly how I would track down my favourite celebs if one day I were to lose my press credentials (knock on wood). So you want to meet famous people, too? Forget the TIFF 2013 premiere schedule; you've got much smarter stalking to do.
A part of me wanted to quit; it seemed pointless. I was only sent out for Native roles and even those were few and far between. Something was wrong with the industry. Growing up, I had almost never seen Native people on television. I was frustrated and angry, but something inside me told me if I wanted to change things, I had to stick with it.