Edge of the Knife

We are so damn privileged when First Nations storytellers opt to share their stories outside of their communities. These are the stories we tried to kill, to silence. But they are as resilient as their tellers. In the intro to the film, directors Edenshaw and Haig-Brown explained that the wildman story was often told at the beginning of a potlatch. Someone transgresses, doesn’t follow protocol. A traumatic event ensues and the man literally goes wild with guilt and grief. His friends need to confront what he did, come to terms with it and find forgiveness before his community finds him, heals him and welcomes him back. What more perfect way to open a community event than by reminding those present that there will always be space for them in the community and that healing comes from the collective? What a gift of a story to share. 

Seeing an entire film in Haida is a powerful thing. The Haida language was almost completely extinguished. Language goes beyond being a means of communication. It shapes how we see and make sense of the world. And we need as many perspectives as possible if we’re going to cope with the problems of today.