César's Bark Canoe

This is one of my favourite films, and you can watch it for free on the NFB website. We see César Newashish, a 67-year-old Attikamek of the Manawan Reserve north of Montreal, build a birch bark canoe. There is no narration, and very little dialogue, which feels like a revelation. Especially for a documentary created in 1971 about an Aboriginal person and traditional knowledge. I think the lack of interpretation and the simplicity of this film inspires viewers to be more present. Rather than being caught up in description, we can participate through witnessing César's engagement with the contours and rhythms of the materials and the way life weaves in and out of the entire process.