Documentary Movie Review: Dawnland (2018) #BloggingAtoZChallenge


Welcome to Panorama of the Mountains! My name is Liam and I enjoy watching documentary movies.  This month I will be reviewing 26 documentaries from A-to-Z!

Documentaries starting with the letter D that I have previously reviewed include:

Title: Dawnland
Release Date: June 14, 2018
Director:Adam MazoBen and Pender-Cudlip
Production Company: Upstander Project | Principle Pictures | Unrendered Films |
Vision Maker Media
Summary/Review:

You can’t heal someone who’s gone through hell!

A tool of colonizers everywhere is to separate indigenous children from their parents and their culture.  It’s happened in Australia, and Canada, and the Western United States, but this story is particularly close to home for me since it involves the Wabanaki people of Maine.  Wabanaki children were removed from their community and placed in foster care of white families.  This continued happening even after a Federal regulation in the 1970s required child welfare organizations to prioritize placing children with relatives or foster parents in the same tribe.

In 2013, the Maine Wabanaki established the first truth and reconciliation commision which interviewed over 150 people over two years.  The better part of the documentary features the testimonies of Waanaki people who grew up in foster care.  As you can imagine, the stories are harrowing and heartbreaking.  The process is long and difficult, especially when white allies want to rush things along, but necessary.  Despite the horrors we hear about in this film, I also found it to be hopeful.

Rating: ****