Culture

Two-spirit cinema

Film Fire Song is featured at the Toronto International Film Festival

The Toronto International Film Festival saw plenty of impressive films, with stars from all over the world heading to the big city for the 11-day festival that wrapped up on September 20. One film stands out from the crowd, and tackles an important issue that hasn’t been explored fully in cinema.

Fire Song was directed by Adam Garnet Jones and looks at two-spirit people in First Nations communities. The film tells the tale of a young Anishinaabe man named Shane as he struggles with the crossroads in his life. He has opportunities to go to school off his reservation, but wants to learn traditions and fears leaving would be abandoning his family and community. Two-spiritedness and complications in love are important parts of the film as well.

"Just (recently) Six Nations had their first pride parade and it was the first pride parade on any reserve in Canada. So that was really exciting. But it's a really big reserve and it's close to Toronto so the attitudes there are a little bit more progressive, a little more welcoming,” Jones told CTV.

“But a lot of communities, particularly in the North and particularly communities that have been influenced really strongly by Christianity, it's really not talked about and it's not OK and there's a lot of violence and suicide related to queer identity."

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