Indian Horse

Genre:  Drama
Running Time:  100 min.
In theatres: April 13, 2018

Current rating: Rating: 4.21
based on 60 votes and 20 reviews
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Cast: Sladen Peltier, Forrest Goodluck, Ajuawak Kapashesit, Martin Donovan, Edna Manitowabi, Will Strongheart, Michiel Huisman

Synopsis

Ontario, late 1950s. Young Native Canadian Saul Indian Horse (Sladen Peltier) is forcibly taken away from his loving Ojibway family at the age of seven and enrolled at a church-run residential school. At the strict and oppressive school, Saul is not allowed to speak his native language and all evidence of his indigenous heritage is removed. He experiences terrible abuse at the hands of the people who are supposed to take care of the children.

In spite of his harsh surroundings, Saul (Forrest Goodluck) develops an infinity for Canada's favorite sport — hockey. Not only does he secretly learn to play the game, but it quickly becomes clear that he has a rare talent for the sport. His talent is what gets him out of the miserable school and into a Northern Ontario native league, followed by a stint in the pro hockey league. But as an adult, Saul (Ajuawak Kapashesit) can't forget his painful past, which threatens to derail his promising career and future. In order to keep on the right path, Saul draws on the spirit of his ancestors to begin the process of healing.

Based on Richard Wagamese's award-winning novel, Indian Horse.

Director: Stephen Campanelli
Studio: Elevation Pictures
Producer(s): Christine Haebler, Trish Dolman, Paula Devonshire
Screenplay: Dennis Foon
Official Site: IndianHorse.ca

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  • 5 stars "While I believe that the residential schools started with good intentions, to help bring in native peoples into the ever changing Canada. To educate them and create opportunities to communicate, to work, to grow - there is no doubt there were horror stories associated. Did every individual have a bad experience? Definitely not. Indian Horse will be an awakening for those on the fence of these issues, but for those who make statements calling it propaganda - they will see it as an outright lie. They will also tell you the Holocaust never happened, 9/11 was done by CIA, and that the moon landing was faked. The movie is fantastic. Low budget, but shot professionally, with a pretty good script. I enjoyed it from beginning to end."
  • 5 stars "I have a informed appreciation for the efforts of truth and reconciliation and understand the need for First Nation people to tell their story. Their voices once silenced have awakened. It is now time for the rest of Canada to listen and hear. This movie was powerful and I consider it as sacred that First Nation People permitted us into their shared vulnerability. This was not just a movie but a testament of courage and strength in the face of cruelty and injustice"
  • 4 stars "Heart-wrenching! I had no idea that this was our Canadian history. I'm shocked and baffled at my own ignorance. I don't even know any First Nations people because of my own misconceptions and prejudice. :("