Darlene Naponse is an Anishinaabe Kwe from Atikameksheng Anishnawbek – Northern Ontario. She is a writer, film director, and video artist. The idea for Falls Around Her came to Naponse about seven years ago, and over the years she would work on it between her many other artistic endeavors.
A quick synopsis of the film for you… Falls Around Her follows Mary Birchbark (Tantoo Cardinal), a legendary singer who returns to the vast wilderness of her reserve to reconnect with the land and her community. Mary begins to sense that someone might be watching her. Unsure of what is real and what is imagined, Mary embraces isolation as she explores the psychological impact of her past and present.
In this very candid and informative interview, Naponse shares more about the making of the film, its casting, production details, and more.
Naponse and I discussed the importance of community – on and off screen. We discussed how much Tantoo Cardinal brings to her role in this film; as well as the rest of the cast. We also touched upon the need to share stories about Indigenous women’s strength, and resilience. The need to see ourselves reflected on-screen. The beauty we can find in nature, and most importantly, within ourselves and within our communities. And of course, we also touched upon the ability to find humour in all of life’s situation. By far, one of my favourite interviews with a filmmaker in a long time.
If you did not make it to a screening of Falls Around Her during TIFF, you will have a chance to see it again as the Opening Film at imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival on October 16, 2018.