Mobilize ★★★★

1st Caroline Monnet

Aggressive, punchy piece of art culled from hundreds of hours of footage of native Canadians practicing their arts- felling trees, making canoes, building houses. It’s set to a propulsive minimalist score that incorporates throat singing and heavy slapping percussion, increasing as the images increase in rapidity. Kids play in snowy streets, snowmobiles whizz across shot. All is peaceful, all is harmonious. And then all of a sudden, a cut to black and silence. And then the city appears and the music kicks back in again, even more intense than before. Buildings are being erected rapidly, presumably by Native Canadian workers. A young native woman walks through the streets, looking around in bewilderment. What’s happened to the land of her youth? What’s happened to the land of her people? In the light of the last few months, where hundreds of graves of native children have been uncovered and there is still an epidemic of women going missing in the snowy wilderness, her look of confusion and discomfort has even more of a powerfully painful sting to it. The result is a incredibly potent work, a natural successor to Dziga Vertov’s socially conscious montage cinema.

Ethan liked these reviews