Gord Downie & Jeff Lemire – Secret Path (2016)

This multi-media presentation of the tragic story of Chanie Wenjack, a young Indigenous boy who ran away from the brutality of Indian residential schools in 1960s Canada but died of exposure before reaching his family home, is a solemn affair that manages to present one of the country’s most shameful moments in a forceful manner without exploiting its subject. The animation (itself adapted from graphic novel form) is gorgeous to look at, while Gord Downie’s haunting, ghostly vocals float throughout the project, signing from the perspective of the cursed Wenjack and bringing stinging humanity to an historical figure. It’s an experience unlike any other, and should be required viewing in the educational system on the unconscionable history of Canadian residential schools.

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)

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