In the Land of the Head Hunters
In the Land of the Head Hunters was the first feature film made in BC and the oldest surviving feature made in Canada. It is also the first feature made with an entirely indigenous North American cast. A portrait of the Kwakwaka’wakw (formerly Kwakiutl) people of northern Vancouver Island and the central coast, it was directed by Edward S. Curtis, the renowned American photographer of First Nations life. Assisting on the film was George Hunt, a Kwakwaka’wakw who had served as an interpreter for the famous anthropologist Franz Boas nearly twenty years before. Hunt helped contribute substantial portions of the film’s story as well. The film mixes documentary and dramatic elements, recording authentic traditions and rituals, including the potlatch ceremony, but also offering a tale of love, war, and adventure set in pre-European times. It premiered in New York and Seattle on December 7, 1914. This beautiful restoration features John J. Branham’s original 1914 score performed by Vancouver’s Turning Point Ensemble.
Special guests will be in attendance to take part in a panel discussion at the end of the film including renowned K’ómoks and Kwakwaka’wakw artist Andy Everson, the grandson of Margaret Frank, who played the role of Princess Naida in the film. SFU professor emeritus Colin Browne who participated in the restoration of the film will also be joining Andy Everson in the discussion. All proceeds from the event will be donated to local charities.
Tickets: $12 Admission (+applicable taxes & fees)