A Reminder To Pay Attention: Our Review of ‘Wochiigii lo: End of the Peace’

Posted in Movies, Theatrical by - June 21, 2022
A Reminder To Pay Attention: Our Review of ‘Wochiigii lo: End of the Peace’

We need to pay more attention to the crises that aren’t quite as obvious out there in our very own back yard…

This is the story of the Site C Dam, a hydro-electric project on northern British Columbia’s Peace River that could only be described as massive. It’s on the 13th longest river system on the planet, which cuts across the province in an area largely populated by Indigenous peoples; including West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations, two of the smallest bands covered under Treaty 8, the government’s century-old agreement with Indigenous people that was intended to last…basically forever.

Wochiigii lo: End of the Peace is a salient reminder of the cultural and environmental crises that are happening right under our noses, more often than any of us really care to acknowledge.  And that’s kind of the point.

In her debut feature, writer/director Heather Hatch truly does a wonderful job of laying out the story and the issue at hand with exacting precision as these damns and installations that are being built isn’t for the good of the people, Indigenous people or anyone else other than the politicians who came up with these ideas to impact the environment and violate the treats with our native peoples.

She deftly shows the beauty of the nature and the land at risk with some stunning photography as some very straightforward interviews with the people that are being affected by all this while keeping a deft balance with the coldness of the machinery and the corporations who are OK with destroying sacred land in the spirit of making an extra buck or three.

By showing us the day to the day impact of these projects and boiling it all down to a simple issue of not being able to eat the fish that come out of the river, we’re allowed to connect with this story and it becomes something more then what we see on the evening news.

While the film has its obvious biases, Wochiigii lo: End of the Peace reminds us of the fact that so many of these projects then end up being political statements that end up being nothing more than pointless grandstanding from the people in power and that we truly need to be more respectful of all the First Nations people who are now and forever will serve as stewards of this great land we are all lucky to live in, the one we call Canada.

Wochiigii lo: End of the Peace is playing exclusively at TIFF Bell Lightbox TONIGHT

This post was written by
David Voigt is a Toronto based writer with a problem and a passion for the moving image and all things cinema. Having moved from production to the critical side of the aisle for well over 10 years now at outlets like Examiner.com, Criticize This, Dork Shelf (Now That Shelf), to.Night Newspaper he’s been all across his city, the country and the continent in search of all the news and reviews that are fit to print from the world of cinema.
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