Part documentary, part personal story, local Nuxalk filmmaker Banchi Hanuse’s first documentary will certainly strike a familiar chord with many viewers. Written, produced and directed by Hanuse, the film features faces many will recognize and explores a theme many can identify with.
‘Cry Rock’ was originally released in 2010. Since then, the film has won eight awards including Best Short Documentary at the Women in Film Festival in Vancouver and the Kodak Image Award. Hanuse was also awarded the Indigenous Filmmakers Award in 2012.
Hanuse first had the idea for the film almost a decade ago. “I wanted to tell this story because it’s very significant to me,” she says. “The film is partly about my personal struggle, but also touches on the larger struggle within many communities.”
The film features Hanuse as narrator and a central figure in the struggle to discover the best way to preserve and record the stories that embody the spirit and culture of the Nuxalk Nation – stories that are slipping away as fluent Nuxalk speakers dwindle and young Nuxalkmc people lose touch with their traditional way of life.
Featuring a cast of four main characters, the film blends vivid shots of the Bella Coola Valley with watercolour animation to illustrate the role of Nuxalk oral tradition in past and present life. A familiar irony surfaces as members of the Nuxalk community try to understand how modern technology can help preserve their culture while at the same time causing enormous harm.
While Cry Rock continues to be screened across North America at various film festivals, this will be its first debut on a major television network. You can catch Cry Rock at 9pm on Tuesday, June 17th as part of Knowledge Network’s popular Storyville series.