Luk’Luk’I: Mother pulls no punches when it screens as part of Short Cuts Canada Programme 3 at TIFF 2014. The short, from director Wayne Wapeemukwa, tells the story of a mother, and part-time sex worker, who goes missing during the 2010 Winter Olympics. Toronto Film Scene had a chance to speak with Wayne about the short, and some of the deeper meanings behind the film.
Describe your film in 10 words or less.
The libidinal reality of Canadian nationalism.
What inspired you to make this film?
In reading Marx I learned that crises are not anomalies of Capital, but its natural consequences; in reading Thomas King’s “The Inconvenient Indian” I learned that colonialism is not a historic issue, but one endemic and systemic to Canada. I wanted to make a film about how colonialism is not an anomaly of our Nation (or its history), but it’s terrifying and real epicenter.
What was the best thing about production? Most frustrating?
The best thing about production was the virtuosic and brave performances that my dear friends Angel & Eric took upon themselves: both were utterly transparent with their stories and contributed essentially to both the film’s development and it’s production. Frustratingly, the film was met with many prejudices early on: Crazy 8s (a local independent grant contest) rejected funding the film in development, friends and family would not lend their homes for locations due to Angel’s profession in the sex-trade, and social-workers from the Downtown Eastside neglected to abet the just cause I was attempting to convey.
What’s the one thing you want people to know about your film?
That the issues of colonialism evoked in my film are getting worse, and will continue to until radical and sovereign action is taken on behalf of the First-Peoples – Louis Riel has said: “My people will sleep for one hundred years, but when they awake, it will be the artists who give them their spirit back.”
Images of patriotism are peppered throughout the film, seeming to suggest that the country is letting its citizens down. Was this your intention for the short film, and do you think the country will ever be able to change?
My intention was not to convey that the ‘country’ is letting its citizens down in any way – far from it – terrifyingly in fact, the country is functioning most optimally when patriotism is blindly used to fuel the gentrification of “Canada’s Poorest Postal Code” (I.e., Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside); Hegel has said that “Unintelligent love may perhaps do more harm than hatred” – absolutely nothing could be more true especially in light of the systemic disenfranchisement of our ‘Country’s’ most destitute leading up to and following the baroque Winter Olympics of 2010. Will the country ever be able to change? – perhaps when the nation and its capitalist ilk come square with the resistance which started in the Red River, and the legacy of First National Self Determination which started long before it.
Your film is screening as part of TIFF — what are you most excited about seeing or doing at this year’s festival?
Getting free drinks.
Luk’Luk’I: Mother screens as part of Short Cuts Canada Programme 3 at TIFF 2014. Check their website for more information.