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SUGARCANE

Opens Friday, August 9

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DIRECTED BY JULIAN BRAVE NOISECAT AND EMILY KASSIE

In 2021, unmarked graves were discovered around Canadian church-run boarding schools, belatedly exposing the hundred-year efforts to strip First Nations children of their culture and identity: Indigenous languages were banned, children were separated from their families and abused, and some disappeared. SUGARCANE begins with a First Nation investigation at St. Joseph’s Mission school near the Sugarcane Reservation in British Columbia. With tremendous empathy, co-directors Julian Brave NoiseCat and Emily Kassie (winners of the Sundance Directing award) document the lucid, intimate memories of survivors of the school — including a leading advocate/investigator; a former tribal chief who is still a practicing Catholic; and NoiseCat’s own father and grandmother, whose tragic story went unspoken for years.

Presented with support from the Richard Brick, Geri Ashur, and Sara Bershtel Fund for Social Justice Documentaries

2024     107 MIN.     USA     NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DOCUMENTARY FILMS
IN ENGLISH AND SECWEPEMCTSIN WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES
 

Trailer

SUGARCANE

Opens Friday, August 9

Reviews

"Demonstrating unparalleled humanity, and compassion for the affected First Nation communities in North America, the powerful documentary operates from a place of pure and total empathy.”
 – Valerie Complex, Deadline

“Quietly devastating…SUGARCANE is the product of humane and insightful filmmakers who are determined to never let anyone forget, and put their moral outrage to exemplary good use.”
– Joe Leydon, Variety

“A gut-punch of a documentary... At the heart of Julian Brave NoiseCat and Emily Kassie’s powerful film is this question of action. How do you act when faced with violence from the past? What does accountability look like?... SUGARCANE’s sensitivity to the ongoing pain of its subjects is one of the film’s principal achievements. NoiseCat and Kassie offer an affecting portrait of a community that endures in spite of colonial genocide... SUGARCANE handles its heavy subject matter without despair.”
– Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter

[A] stunning and brutal look at the lasting trauma of the St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School, a government-funded institution run by the Catholic Church where indigenous children were sent with the aim of stripping them of the connection to their culture... It’s a portrait of what remains when injustice occurs.”
– Esther Zuckerman, IndieWire

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