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Produced by Ina Fichman; directed by Catherine Bainbridge and Albert Nerenberg
Co-produced by Maximage Productions and Snap TV, 1991. VHS cassette, 33:00 min., $350.00. Distributed by Visual Education Centre, 41 Horner Ave., Unit 3, Toronto, Ont. M8Z 4X4.

Grades 11 and up/Ages 16 and up

Reviewed by Christine Jacobs

Volume 20 Number 4
1992 September

On September 9,1990, journalist Albert Nerenberg managed to sneak behind the army lines to document what turned out to be the last seventeen days of the Oka crisis. He and fellow director Catherine Bainbridge have created a record of the events. Unfortunately, it does not do justice to its subject.

There are several interesting interviews, including one with "Lasagna" and another with "Boltpin." There are also many moving and thought-provoking scenes and comments, including a horrifying scene of the citizens of Oka burning effigies. However, the power and immediacy of the Mohawk struggle is dissipated by lengthy nature shots, poor camera technique and foolish questions that, instead of emphasizing the closeness of the native people to their sacred grounds, frustrate the viewer, who must struggle to maintain empathy. The poor editing has not compensated for the videotaping, which by necessity was rough and ready. This video would have been much better had it been rigorously edited to about two-thirds the present length and presented with more background analysis.

Be warned that there is strong language (appropriate to the situation). Recommended only for senior high school to adult collections that include background/companion materials.

Christine Jacobs is a freelance indexer in Montreal, Quebec, who for the past five years has indexed films and videos for Film/Video Canadiana.

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