Rocks at Whiskey Trench

Director: Alanis Obomsawin

Institute History

  • 2001 Sundance Film Festival


From veteran documentary filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin comes Rocks at Whiskey Trench, a powerful and truthful story told from within the heart of an aboriginal community in northeastern Canada. Kahnawake, a Mohawk community with a three-hundred-year history of struggle, faces the threat of a proposed golf course on sacred land. When police and military officials move into the area, Mohawk men and women rise to the occasion and confront encroachment with a barricade of history and will. When the community is forced to evacuate children and elders because they fear for their safety, they are stoned barbarically by white townspeople on the other side of Montreal's Mercier Bridge.

The film evokes sadness and outrage as it demonstrates the realities that continue to be faced by Native communities and the racism that still exists in our world today. Rocks at Whiskey Trench is Obomsawin's fourth film documenting the Mohawk struggles at Oka in the early 1990s. In 1993, Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance rocked the world's human rights conscience and took the international film community by storm. In 1999, Obomsawin returned to Sundance with Spudwrench: Kahnawake Man telling the story of a Mohawk resister and the legacy of Mohawk steelworkers. Rocks at Whiskey Trench is a genuine example of Obomsawin's continually poignant and uncompromising filmmaking.

— Heather Rae

Screening Details

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