Kwanxwala – Thunder


Sarah Shamash | Canada | 2017 | 28:00

Kwanxwala – Thunder intertwines Canadian history, indigeneity, colonial legacies, feminisms, and sport. Shot over the period of several years (2009-2015), this creative documentary constructs a portrait of Alert Bay through soccer and its history. The film’s impressionistic approach takes us through the history of the incorporation of soccer into kwakwaka’wakw culture despite its colonial roots while highlighting multiple generations of women soccer players. The multiple formats used to make this film: archival footage, stills, super 8, standard definition, drone, and HD, establish a less linear documentary tone in an aesthetic that is more akin to the film essay, DIY and experimental film. Kwanxwala – Thunder is a documentary on women’s soccer and much more; it characterizes a community in a remote corner of Canada’s boundless geography, a reservation on an island on traditional kwakwaka’wakw territory through a history that is also the history of Canada.