Bones of Crows is an epic of Indigenous resilience – Cult MTL

by ahnationtalk on June 7, 202364 Views

June 7, 2023

We spoke with Rémy Girard and Karine Vanasse about portraying residential school staff in Marie Clements’ new film, soon to be a miniseries.

The opening sequence of Marie Clements’s century-spanning Bones of Crows takes place decades before the film’s protagonist is born. Her ancestors were already displaced from their homes and placed on reserves, waiting for food. A grizzled, grimy man teases and mocks them before revealing that there is no food and they will likely starve. As the sequence ends with a gunshot to the head, the splattered blood turns into a murder of crows.

Adopting a roving and non-linear storytelling method, Bones of Crows tells the story of Aline Spears (played by Grace Dove as an adult) from her peaceful, impoverished childhood in 1930s Manitoba. Though poor, the family wants for nothing and lives happily until the Church and Sheriff arrive to split their family apart. Aline and her siblings will be brought to live in residential schools. The film spans nearly a century, as we watch Aline endure and resist; she enlists in WW2 as a Cree code-talker, braves a difficult marriage with her traumatized husband, watches as her family falls apart and fights to make a better future for her children. A dark though hopeful story about intergenerational trauma and the enduring impact of colonialism, Bones of Crows is an epic in every sense of the word.

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