Competition Documentary Feature
For Walter and Josiah
Directed by: Jamie Elias
USA, 2020, 66m
Montana’s Flathead Indian Reservation has seen a spike in Native American suicides in a state that already has one of the highest suicide rates in the nation. Two beloved reservation teens, Walter and Josiah, become the latest tragedies of suicide resultant, in part, from decades of intergenerational trauma due to the poor treatment of Native American peoples in general in the U.S., and more specifically attributed to the past’s forcible removal of children from their communities that subsequently damaged families for decades and laid ground for further human health crises such as substance abuse. Hope glimmers in the form of a passionate high school coach and others in the community who take healing actions. Through following the plucky Two Eagles, a basketball team affected by the suicides, this moving and beautifully shot film positions viewers for understanding and healing as the community uses cultural resurgence and basketball as conduits for change and growth.
The clans of the Wet’sewet’en Nation have sovereign land never ceded in the region commonly known as British Columbia, Canada, yet the people of this Nation regularly experience illegal white encroachment and disrespect. In this glimpse into 21st century “warfare,” Indigenous anti-pipeline protestors show their steely resolve against oppression and human rights violations.