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Acclaimed epic of Indigenous resilience to be screened in Island communities

Marie Clements’ feature film Bones of Crows expands BC community screening run
Secwépemc actor Grace Dove stars in Bones of Crows, a multi-generational epic recounting decades of systemic abuse against Indigenous Peoples will tour Vancouver Island next month. Photo contributed

Bones of Crows, the historical feature film written and directed by award-winning Métis/Dene filmmaker Marie Clements recounting decades of systemic abuse against Indigenous Peoples, will bring its National Indigenous community screening tour to a number of Vancouver Island locations.

The free community screenings commenced in Port Hardy on Jan. 31 and continue with screenings in Campbell River, Sidney, Victoria, Coquitlam, Squamish, Sechelt, Port Alberni, Ucluelet, Courtenay, Nanaimo, and Tla’amin Nation. These communities will be some of the first people to see the film, ahead of its theatrical release in 2023.

A students screening will take place at Alberni District Secondary School (ADSS) on Feb. 9, and another screening will be open to the public at ADSS on Saturday, Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. Admission for the event is free of charge and on a first-come, first-served basis.

Ayasew Ooskana Pictures Inc. production of Bones of Crows is a multi-generational epic story of resilience told through the eyes of Cree Matriarch Aline Spears (played throughout her life by Summer Testawich; Secwépemc actor Grace Dove; and Carla Rae). Removed from their family home and forced into Canada’s residential school system, young musical prodigy Aline and her siblings are plunged into a struggle for survival. Over the next hundred years, Aline and her descendants fight against systemic starvation, racism, and sexual abuse — and to build a more just future.

Bones of Crows stars Secwépemc actor Grace Dove (Alaska Daily), Phillip Forest Lewitski (Wildhood), Rémy Girard (District 31), Karine Vanasse (Cardinal), Alyssa Wapanatâhk (Peter Pan), Michelle Thrush (Prey), Gail Maurice (Night Raiders), Cara Gee (The Expanse), TIFF Rising Star Joshua Odjick, and a cast of Indigenous talent from across the country.

The dramatic feature film had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September and has been received with acclaim from audiences around the world at film festivals including VIFF, Cinéfest, CIFF, and more. Bones of Crows is also accompanied by a five part mini-series commissioned by CBC/Radio-Canada in association with APTN.

Some of the cast including Summer Testawich, who plays the young Aline Spears, will be attending the screenings from Feb. 6 through 17 and Evan Adams will be in attendance for his hometown screening in Powell River on Feb. 17.