Genevieve Dulude-De Celles, Canada/ Québec
Here’s is a film that not only deserved to be the winner of the Crystal bear but spoke to me personally. Mylia (Émilie Bierre) who appears awkward and shy starts high school on the wrong foot. She befriends Jacinthe (Cassandra Gosselin-Pelletier) who is nothing but a bad influence on her. Jacinthe encourages Mylia that she needs to experiment with alcohol and sex in order to grow up. Luckily Mylia has someone who comes to her rescue Jimmy (Jacob Whiteduck-Lavoie), an Abenaki indigenous native who doesn’t live on the reservation but attends her high school. Mylia struggles to find her right path under these two very different influences. This was a very powerful film for me since it reminded me of an incident in grade school where we had a history teacher explaining how we, the white man, were victorious over the Indian savages. I distinctly remember two Navaho boys sitting in the back saying nothing with their eyes looking down at the ground. In this movie Jimmy fights back. He will not be silenced even when he is expelled from school for the day. I can only hope that we have rewritten those history books to give a more fair view of what really happened instead of the US patriotic version that I received. Years later I ran into those two boy’s sister who explained that her mother had wanted to create a rainbow family and had adopted the two boys and an African-American girl. She still has contact to her but the boys wanted nothing to do with her and she wondered what went wrong. It seemed quite clear that this naïve idea of a rainbow family never dove deep enough to deal with everyday issues that they were confronted with. This is a film that should be shown in every classroom. Its message could teach tolerance and understanding which in today’s world is much needed.