Inspired by a very real and transformative moment in co-director Elle-Máijá Tailfeather‘s life, The Body Remembers When The World Broke Open threads a delicately complex story of a chance encounter between two Indigenous women with drastically different lived experience, navigating the aftermath of domestic abuse.
When Áila (Tailfeathers) encounters Rose (Violet Nelson) barefoot and crying in the rain on the side of a busy street, she soon discovers that this young woman has just escaped a violent assault at the hands of her boyfriend.
Her decision to comfort this young stranger leads to a revealing and powerful conversation between these two Indigenous women. In an excellently crafted single take, we become intimately acquainted with Áila and Rose. Albeit being Indigenous, they come from very different circumstances, have different outlooks on their own lives, and what they wish for the future.
As the day unravels, we become part of this interaction – like a witness of sorts. Through this story, we are challenged to question how we view domestic violence, violence against women, racism, and social inequality. The film also highlights how we can be more than just eyewitnesses to any of these societal issues. Most importantly, the film helps to highlight the strength and resilience of Indigenous women and girls.
The Body Remembers When The World Broke Open screened at TIFF this year. During the festival, I had the pleasure of speaking with Kathleen Hepburn (writer & co-director) and Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers (writer & co-director) and one of the stars of the film, Violet Nelson.
Apologies for the background noise but it’s TIFF after all… We do interviews where we can. I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did.