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Where the Spirit Lives (1989)

 -  Drama  -  6 June 1990 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 184 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 1 critic

A young Native Canadian (First Nations person) fights to keep her culture and identity when she is abducted to a residential school.

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Title: Where the Spirit Lives (1989)

Where the Spirit Lives (1989) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michelle St. John ...
Komi / Amelia
Kim Bruisedhead Fox ...
Anataki
Marianne Jones ...
Komi's Mother
Gus Chief Moon ...
Ka - moos - ee
Clayton Julian ...
Pita / Abraham
Margaret Cozry ...
Grandmother
Marge Fox ...
Anataki's Mother
Ron White ...
Taggert
Ann-Marie MacDonald ...
Kathleen
Sean Mulcahy ...
Priest
Sam Malkin ...
Mr. Crawford
Doris Petrie ...
Miss Weir
Chapelle Jaffe ...
Miss Appleby
Tina Louise Bomberry ...
Asst. Supervisor #2 (as Tina Bomberry)
Barbara Wheeldon ...
Matron
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Storyline

In 1937, a young First Nations (Canadian native) girl named Ashtecome is kidnapped along with several other children from a village as part of a deliberate Canadian policy to force First Nations children to abandon their culture in order to be assimilated into white Canadian/British society. She is taken to a boarding school where she is forced to adopt Western Euro-centric ways and learn English, often under brutal treatment. Only one sympathetic white teacher who is more and more repelled by this bigotry offers her any help from among the staff. That, with her force of will, Ashtecome (forced to take the name Amelia) is determined to hold on to her identity and that of her siblings, who were also abducted. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A moving tribute to a young girl's courage and indomitable spirit...

Genres:

Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

6 June 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Henkien tanssi  »

Filming Locations:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film had a special 25th anniversary showing at the 2013 Cinefest in Sudbury Ontario. See more »

Quotes

Kathleen: You must find it very satisfying to be helping these poor children get a good education. Learn to read and write and have a wider understanding of the world?
Taggert: Did they tell you anything about this school or about teaching the Indians?
Kathleen: Yes, of course. It's a fine Christian institution doing God's work and the children - well, children are the same anywhere. They need love, patience and careful guidance... And just why are you grinning at me like a great ape?
Taggert: Well, ma'am, it's just been a long ...
[...]
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User Reviews

a great movie for everyone to see
3 February 2006 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

I first saw this movie in middle school.....i remember this movie so much because it impacted me to such a degree. the emotional journey the main character takes you through helps as a viewer to understand the horrors that have been inflicted upon the natives of north America. I firmly believe that this movie is not only good for private home use, this is a great educational tool as well. I think that movies like this are why film is such a valuable teaching resource and such a valuable tool for educating a broad public audience at home via television. Overall a great film and i recommend it to teachers for their classes, and parents to show their children.


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