7.1/10
225
11 user 1 critic

Where the Spirit Lives (1989)

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

Director:

Bruce Pittman

Writer:

Keith Ross Leckie (original screenplay by)
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8 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

Country:

Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 June 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Henkien tanssi See more »

Filming Locations:

Toronto, Ontario, Canada See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Aired on television as part of "American Playhouse" in June of 1990. See more »

Quotes

Kathleen: And they've been brutalized! Now just how am I to get the trust and respect of those children when they think I'm about to beat them silly at any moment?
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User Reviews

My Father went through what happened in this Movie
25 March 2004 | by mels_016See all my reviews

My Father is a Micmac and so am I. I'm 16 now and when i first saw this movie it was the early 90s. i must have been about 4 or 5 years old. The movie is based on Shubenacadie Indian Residential School in Nova Scotia, Canada. My father was in that school for 6 years, longer then other people who where there. My dad isn't fixated on what happened while he was at that school, unlike other people. Some people that went to shubie school for 6 months talk about all that bad things that happened to them like they were there for 10 years. You'd never even know that my dad went there. When he does talk about shubie school it's not about the horrors of what went on, it's mainly good things like how the kids there used their slices of bread like money or how if you touched someone else food it became yours. That only bad thing he ever said about that school was that the food sucked so you had to eat it really fast. To this day he still eats his food fast, it doesn't even touch the plate and it's gone.

What i want to say is that i think this movie did an amazing job at portraying what went on behind the walls and that the Catholic church is messed up for thinking that they can "fix" everybody else to their standards. What happened in those schools is on some degree like what Catholic Priests molesting those children. For anyone who would really like to know more about Shubenacadie Indian Residential School, you should read "Out of The Depths" by Isabelle Knockwood. For rating i give this movie a 10 out of 10.


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