Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance

Director: Alanis Obomsawin
Screenwriters: Alanis Obomsawin

Institute History

  • 1994 Sundance Film Festival


For seventy-eight days during the summer and early fall of 1990, the world watched as Mohawks rose up tto defend their land in an armed standoff with the Quebec police and the Canadian army. Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance is Abenaki filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin's firsthand account of the struggle.

Her detailed portrait of this community places the Oka crisis within the larger context of Mohawk land rights, which have been disregarded by white authorities for centuries, culminating In the 1990 crisis. This evocative film focuses on the human dimensions of the conflict, exploring the convictions that motivated the Mohawks and the spirit that enabled them to stand firm.

Obomsawin's documentary also examines the role of the federal and provincial politicians, the police and the military in the Oka conflict and offers a startling depiction of the manipulation of the news media by the authorities. "I had a very strong feeling." Obomsawin says, "that this story had to be documented by one of us I was there as a filmmaker, but also as an aboriginal person.”

Sunday Jan 23 4:30 pm
Sundance Screening Room

Monday Jan 24 4:00 pm
Egyptian Theatre

Saturday Jan 29 1:00 pm
Holiday Village Cinema I


Screening Details

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