The past few times that I have taught my course on religion and film I have included a number of Indigenous movies. The response from students has been entirely positive, in part because most of them have rarely encountered Indigenous cultural products of any kind, especially contemporary ones. Students also respond well to the way in which many of these films use notions of the monstrous to explore, and explode, colonial myths. Goldstone, for example, by Kamilaroi filmmaker Ivan Sen, draws on noir tropes to peel back the smiling masks of the people responsible for the mining town’s success, revealing their underlying monstrosity. Similarly, Mi’gmaq Jeff Barnaby’s debut feature Rhymes for Young Ghouls makes cinematic allusions to 1970s horror films in its depiction of the residential school system. In this paper, I will draw on these examples to discuss how examination of the monstrous in Indigenous films can help us to introduce students to the ideological power of myth, specifically in relation to colonialism.
"Myth and Monstrosity: Teaching Indigenous Films,"
Journal of Religion & Film: Vol. 22:
3, Article 7.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.unomaha.edu/jrf/vol22/iss3/7
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