At the Winnipeg Film Group and Cinematheque, as film people, so much of how we understand and relate to the world and communicate with others is through film. Film is an empathy machine, allowing us to educate ourselves on the histories, struggles, experiences and triumphs of others. Film provides us a way to reflect on, understand, and process the atrocities committed against Indigenous communities by colonialism; the horrific and traumatic legacy of residential schools; and the resilience and perseverance of Indigenous peoples in the face of such staggering oppression.

In recognition of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Thursday, September 30 and in remembrance of the survivors of Canada’s residential schools, Cinematheque is hosting two documentaries that address the traumatic brutality of residential schools and offer a path forward towards reconciliation. Both films will be free to view in Canada for three days, September 30 – October 3 on our Cinematheque at Home virtual platform. Donations will be accepted and 100% will go directly to the Sacred Fire – Bring Our Children Home Migiziiwazison.

We Were Children – watch free on Cinematheque at Home
The profound impact of the Canadian government’s residential school system is conveyed through the eyes of two children who were forced to face hardships beyond their years.

Content warning: violence, trauma, disturbing content

Our People Will Be Healed – watch free on Cinematheque at Home
Alanis Obomsawin’s 50th film reveals how a Cree community in Manitoba has been enriched through the power of education.

Additional resources:

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Calls to Action

National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation