Now Is The Time - Screening and Discussion

Now Is The Time - Screening and Discussion

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Join us for a special screening and discussion with local filmmaker Christopher Auchter, and from the Haida Nation, artist and author, Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas in a program featuring Auchter's 2019 NFB film Now Is The Time (2019, 16 min.), fresh off the international film festival circuit.

The screening will be followed by a discussion and Q & A with filmmaker Christopher Auchter and Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas.

In 1969, when internationally renowned Haida carver Robert Davidson was only 22 years old, he was instrumental in changing the history of his people forever. During visits to museums in Vancouver, Davidson had seen photographs of Old Massett Village, with its forest of totem poles facing the sea; but at home there were no traces of these once prominent poles. It wasn’t just the totems that had been razed and destroyed: Haida songs, ceremonies, and culture had also been obliterated. “I would go and visit the elders, and they seemed really, like, not connecting to anything,” he says. “I could feel the sadness, and I wanted to create an occasion for them to celebrate one more time.” With help from his grandparents, his father, and his younger brother Reg, Davidson committed to carving the first new totem pole in almost a century.

On the 50th anniversary of pole’s raising, Christopher Auchter's 2019 film Now Is The Time steps fluidly through history to revisit that day in August 1969, when the entire Massett village gathered to celebrate an event that would signal the rebirth of the Haida spirit. Resplendent with original footage shot by what was then known as the NFB’s Indian Film Crew, Now Is the Time is filled with archival images, animation, and emotional interviews with Robert and Reg Davidson, and Haida scholar Barbara Wilson.

The film’s bright, kaleidoscopic scenes highlight women dancing in their bare feet, men egging each other on, elders wearing paper headdresses, and children drawn in gorgeous watercolour hues. The sound of laughter and tears permeate, as three generations of Eagle and Raven clan come together to ceremoniously raise the pole.

In his studio, Robert Davidson smiles at the memory. “I was just a young smart-aleck kid thinking I was going to teach the elders something, but it turned around,” he says. “It was the other way around.”

All Ages
Museum of Vancouver
1100 Chestnut St, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6J 3J9 See Map
$13 Adults, $11 Students
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Museum of Vancouver
1100 Chestnut St

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