FILE - A 22-year-old Robert Davidson and his grandfather Tsinii on the day of the pole raising. On Sunday, June 21, 2020, the short documentary “Now Is the Time” will start streaming on the National Film Board website. (National Film Board photo)

‘Now Is the Time’ doc will start streaming on National Indigenous Peoples Day

Film featuring Haida carver Robert Davidson will launch June 21 for free on NFB website

“Haida Modern” will not be the only Robert Davidson documentary streaming online in June.

Starting on June 21 — new for National Indigenous Peoples Day — the award-winning documentary “Now Is the Time” will be launched on the National Film Board (NFB) website.

ALSO READ: ‘Haida Modern’ doc on Robert Davidson to stream online in June

Now Is the Time (Promo Clip 30sec – COMING SOON) from NFB/marketing on Vimeo.

“Now Is the Time” revisits the day in August 1969 when Haida Gwaii gathered to help raise the first new totem pole in almost a century, which was carved by Davidson with the help of his grandparents, his father and his younger brother Reg.

Written and directed by Burnaby-based Haida filmmaker Christopher Auchter, the short documentary (16 minutes) received selection for the Sundance Film Festival last year.

“Resplendent with original footage shot … ‘Now Is the Time’ is filled with archival images, animation, and emotional interviews with Robert, Reg, and Haida scholar Barbara Wilson,” a release from NFB said.

“The film’s bright, kaleidoscopic scenes show women dancing in their bare feet, men egging each other on, elders wearing paper headdresses and children drawn in gorgeous watercolour hues. Everywhere is the sound of laughter and tears, as three generations of Eagle and Raven clan come together to raise the pole in the old way, inching it higher and higher, until it stands proud and strong against the clear blue sky.”

ALSO READ: Haida film Now Is The Time selected for Sundance

When the documentary was released last year, Davidson said his father had walked the forest for two weeks looking for a suitable tree for the pole that was raised, and he and his helpers carved it for 10 to 12 hours per day, six days a week most weeks.

He also said the idea to carve and raise the pole was inspired by his friendship with the elders of the day.

“When I moved to Vancouver, I saw the great art of my ancestors, then I came home and saw no art in the village, because we had been muted and outlawed from practicing our ceremonies and way of life,” he said. “I also sensed a feeling of sadness from the elders, and I wanted to create a reason for them to celebrate one more time in a way they knew how.

“This motivated me to commit to carving the totem pole.”

ALSO READ: Haida story headed to the international stage

Six other new releases will also be coming to the NFB website in June, including the June 17 world premiere of “The Tournament,” a new short film by Winnipeg-based Métis filmmaker Sam Vint.

For more information, visit NFB.ca.

Do you have something to add to this story or something else we should report on? Email:
karissa.gall@blackpress.ca.


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