Is the Crown at War With Us?

Year: 2002
Country: Canada
Running time: 96 mins
Canada
Screenplay: Alanis Obomsawin
Photography: Philippe Amiguet, Yoan Cart, Michel La Veaux
Editor: Alison Burns
Music: Francis Grandmont
16mm

Festivals: Toronto 2002; Sundance 2003
Director Alanis Obomsawin is a veteran chronicler of First Nations political struggle, so it’s no surprise the answer to the question ‘Is the Crown at War with Us?’ is: most definitely. The director of Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance depicts the controversial events in a New Brunswick community following a 1999 Supreme Court decision that upheld Mi’gmaq treaty rights to earn a living from fishing. During the summer of 2000, the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans attacked the vessels of Mi'gmaq fishermen. This outrage was damningly captured on film: Obomsawin’s chronicle is also a most effective political tool. “With views presented from all sides of the issue, Obomsawin ensures the Mi'gmaq voice is heard collectively, individually and ancestrally. Filled with stunning images of Mi'gmaq people and the land and sea they have always known, Obomsawin’s film presents detailed critical analysis in a way that provides yet another necessary opportunity for questioning political processes and the intentions of national leaders.” — Bird Runningwater, Sundance Film Festival