SGaawaay K'uuna Edge of the Knife

SGaawaay K'uuna Edge of the Knife
Presented by World Community Development Education Society, I-Hos Gallery, Xyuu Xyahl Gaang.nga - Southeast Wind Dancers, and the Sid Williams Theatre Society.

This event features an opening Haida cultural performance by Xyuu Xyahl Gaang.nga - Southeast Wind Dancers.

SGaawaay K’uuna Edge of the Knife is a 2018 Canadian drama film co-directed by Hluugitgaa Gwaai Edenshaw and Jaada Gyaahlangnaay Helen Haig-Brown. It is the first feature film spoken only in dialects of the Haida language (with subtitles). Set in 19th century Haida Gwaii, it tells the classic Haida story of the traumatized and stranded man transformed to Gaagiixiid, the wildman.

One aim of the film is to preserve and teach Haida, an endangered language. The film was created primarily by indigenous people, including the co-directors, a mostly amateur crew, and the Haida cast.

First shown on September 1, 2018 to Haida Gwaii residents, whom the film's creators said were the primary audience, SGaawaay K'uuna Edge of the Knife made its public premiere six days later at the Toronto International Film Festival, which named the film in its annual Canada's Top Ten list.

A Skype Q&A with director Hluugitgaa Gwaai Edenshaw will follow the screening of the film.

They say a fire calls you into the forest. The cold will make you desperate to catch the fire; but no matter how long you run, you cannot catch the fire. You run and run until your mind is sick and the spirits take you over. You become wild. You become Gaagiixid.


Haida Gwaii, 1800’s. At a seasonal fishing camp two families endure conflict between the nobleman Adiits’ii and his best friend Kwa. After Adiits’ii causes the accidental death of Kwa’s son, he flees into the rainforest, descending into madness and transforming into Gaagiixid – “the Wildman.” When the families return in the spring, they discover Adiits’ii has survived the winter. Can he be rescued and returned to his humanity? Meanwhile, Kwa wrestles with his deepest desire – revenge.

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