By directing the documentary Je m'appelle humaine, which stars Innu poet Joséphine Bacon, Abenaki filmmaker Kim O'Bomsawin not only did her part to save a rich culture, but she made a friend for life.
You had to see them smile and share news on Friday when they met Le Journal on the sidelines of the film's presentation at the Quebec City Film Festival (FCVQ). Tight ties were forged during this shoot.
The venerable Mrs. Bacon, however, was difficult to convince. The main interested party was not comfortable being told her story on the big screen.
“I accepted on the condition that there were people I love,” she says.
And that it is not a biography, but rather a film about his work, which tells the story of the elders of his nation.
This angle thus made it possible to put in the foreground the fight that Joséphine Bacon has waged for years to preserve native culture and its languages.
“I believe in it terrible,” she replies, when asked if she believes that Indigenous languages will survive.
She points to Kiuna College, where she teaches the Innu language to young people, as one of the cornerstones of her great optimism.
“More and more, we will need to go back to our roots in order to survive. We live it quietly now, ”she mentions, referring to the coronavirus crisis.
“There will be an awakening and it will come from the young,” she adds, confident.
In this context, Kim O'Bomsawin admits that she felt “an immense responsibility” before starting the shooting of what would be the only film on Josephine Bacon.
No question of failing in the task, therefore.
“I have a deep love for Joséphine's poetry. I find it accessible, precise and very colorful. So there was material to make a film and I gave myself the mandate that it be up to its work. It's a little stressful, ”she escapes, stifling a laugh.
Ms. Bacon's simplicity was a game-changer. “We left the camera, and everything went as it should. Obviously, Josephine came out pearl after pearl. The magic worked. In the end, it was my easiest movie. Thanks to Joséphine. ”
► My name is human will be released in theaters on November 13, 2020.