The journey of this film has been a strange one, full of bumps and global catastrophes, starting with a small intervention of fate and ending with the fizzle of a social media post.
A few summers ago, I felt that consuming urge to make something. Our last film, Roads and Ruin, had been finished for about a year and with a total of one screening, hadn’t garnered the audience I had hoped it would. So when I sat down to write the script for this project, I wasn’t sure what story I could tell next. I knew I wanted to grapple with colonialism and the foreboding feeling that it brings when looking into the past. This idea would completely unfunded, so I also knew that it would all have to be done for very little money.
As I sat staring at a blank page in a coffee shop, racking my brain for the perfect narrative in walked Neil Enock.
We hadn’t met, but I knew his name as a local actor.
It hit me the moments I spotted him: his trapper costume, the red blanket, the tip-toeing moccasins, the rhythmic breathing. I saw it all in an instant, so unthinking,
I rushed up and gushed to him that he just had to be in this film I wrote. I don’t think I had a single word on the page yet, but it was all there in my head, so it was only kind of a lie.
To my amazement, he agreed.
I managed to get those fevered designs on paper, and we went to camera a few months later. Neil is joined on screen by three talented women: Tamara Simms, Imajyn Cardinal, and Virginia Littlewolfe. Though there’s not a word spoken in the film, I’m still amazed by each of these performers and their ability to express so much in quiet, fleeting moments.
I cannot thank these artists enough for all they brought to The Mother. They braved murky swamps, ice-cold rivers, and even dived hand-first into anthills. They stared into a difficult past with brutal emotional honesty and travelled many hours to give themselves to my daydreaming. Without their passion, the film is nothing.
If you choose to take the time to watch this film, I beg you to do them justice and watch it with intention. Watch it as loud as you’re able and as carefully as you can. You don’t need fancy speakers or an expensive tv, just ten minutes of your total attention in the dark.
Made possible by the loving hands of