If there is only one must-see film at TIFF, it is Michelle Latimer’s documentary, Inconvenient Indian. Inspired by Thomas King’s audacious book, the film is an urgent call to action. In looking back on North American Indigenous history, the film fiercely subverts the official story, revealing it as a colonial disaster – a fact that can never be denied again.
Using Thomas King as our guide, Latimer draws us into the past to re-examine the origins of the devastating colonial narratives. Stereotypes, propaganda and false narratives mix with current realities of government bungling and lies. Expertly mingling old footage with metaphoric tropes and fantastical imagery, she creates a plane of higher truth, a place where the previously accepted history withers and dies.
As she slowly deflates that balloon Latimer propels a different narrative, one that is generated from a place of immeasurable strength and defiance. Focusing on a younger generation of Indigenous artists, the film evokes a fierce sense of renewed power.
Inconvenient Indian is the kind of film that inspires action. This is vibrant and essential activist cinema – the kind that engenders a sense of purpose – grounded in the promise of a better future.