Bones of Crows is one of the most beautiful films I’ve seen this year. It has some truly stunning sequences that have haunted me since I saw the film.
The film tells the century long life of Aline Spears an indigenous woman living in Canada. She was separated from her family by government officials and the church who thought it was best for the children to be forcibly assimilated as part of their attempt to wipe out any and all trace of their culture. She was also assaulted sexually and otherwise by the staff at the orphanage. During the Second World War she became an asset because she could speak Cree, a language that the government wanted to wipe out but which the military was using as code. After the war she raised her family and became an advocate for the rights of her people.
This is a hell of a story beautifully told.
If there is any real problem with the film is that pushes too hard regarding the mistreatment of Aline. It’s not that the film deals with it rather it has a to do with how the film portrays it. The film seems to be trying to make sure we get the that the characters are racist but it seems out of place. For example at one point Aline is in the room during a meeting or dinner at the orphanage where terrible things are said. In a film as beautifully crafted as this mostly is it, and similar moments feel artificial. Apologies if that was what was really said but with in the context of the film it comes across as polemical instead of real.
If you can get past the awkward dialog, this is a killer film about a wonderful woman.
BONES OF CROWS is recommended.