printer friendly version of article
View this article in flash requires flash 6 >
Alanis Obomsawin : dream-magic
Script from an interactive tribute to Abenaki artist and documentary filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin
Guest Directed by Katerina Cizek
A Short Introduction to Alanis Obomsawin
Alanis Obomsawin is an Abenaki singer, storyteller, artist, mother, activist, and one of Canada's leading documentary filmmakers. For over thirty years, her camera has borne witness to defining moments in First Nations history. In this interactive tribute, Katerina Cizek explores how her tenacious storytelling and vision have altered the Canadian political and cultural landscape.
Previews of Chapters 1-6
Chapter 1: Introduction
Why are documentary films important to Alanis Obomsawin? Who first called her wisdom "dream-magic"? And how was Katerina Cizek inspired to create an interactive tribute to Alanis' legacy?
Chapter 2: Beginnings
Alanis Obomsawin has made over twenty documentary films since the late 1960s. Beginnings explores her transition from singer, storyteller, educator, and fashion model into documentary filmmaker-in-residence with the NFB.
Chapter 3: Future Generations
Alanis has devoted much of her life's work to children and education. This chapter traces her cinematic and political commitment to youth, family, and the future of Aboriginal communities.
Chapter 4: Taking a Stand
Alanis spent much of the 1990s documenting Canada's defining moment in First Nations history: the Oka crisis. Taking a Stand details her intimate connection with the 1990 standoff at Kanehsatake, Quebec.
Chapter 5: Today
Alanis' most recent films turn to the Mi'gmaq communities of Canada's East Coast, where she is striving to document long-standing struggles over Aboriginal fishing rights.
Chapter 6: Dreams
Alanis' films often choose her, as traditional legends and powerful dreams guide her in a life-long journey for justice. In our conclusion, Alanis links her sense of duty to her people with her own unshakeable poetic visions.
Chapter 1 : Introduction
1a) Introduction to Dream-magic
I first saw Alanis Obomsawin behind the barricades of the Oka crisis. She was standing at the blockade with her cameraman at her side, interviewing a Mohawk Warrior. She looked proud, her hands planted firmly on her hips, obviously devoted to her documentary mission. With army helicopters and madness swirling all around, she was an apparition of hope. I knew that, whatever might happen that afternoon, history was being chronicled, and that a true story would one day emerge.
In the midst of this international crisis, I was a student journalist, furious with the
disparity unfolding between the reality I saw before me and the mainstream media's skewed interpretations of it. But, because of Alanis, I was also witnessing the power of documentary firsthand. For the next decade, it would be her images, her films, and her voice that would define the world's understanding of Kanehsatake, this decisive Mohawk stand for justice. Alanis Obomsawin has dedicated her life to her people, and to the belief that documentaries really can change the world. This interactive is in turn dedicated to her legacy. In the Spring of 2003, I met with Alanis twice - once in Toronto, and once in her hometown of Montreal - to interview her about her remarkable career. That interview footage, along with additional interviews and materials, were then gathered to create this documentary tribute, entitled Alanis Obomsawin: dream-magic.
- Katerina Cizek, July 2003
1b) Alanis on Documentary
In Montreal, I asked Alanis why documentary filmmaking is important to her. This was her reply.
Alanis: Because it's the life and history of all people. This is why documentary is important for all - not just us.
People, if they are not allowed to have their history, it is pretty difficult to live in the present. When you are not allowed to know where you were, who your parents were, who your nation was. Where did they come from? What did they do? What's your traditions? What's your culture? Why do you live the way you do?
The kinds of decisions you make are often influenced by your past. So if you are denied your past, you don't have much of a future. And you have a difficult present, because you are always trying to figure out why you do certain things in life. Or if you are disturbed, or if you feel you don't belong anywhere. There are reasons for that and you have to find them out. This is why the history of the people, and their traditions, and the language of the people is very important. And that's for all.
And I think this is where documentary filmmaking becomes such an important
way of preserving and teaching and making sure people have a place to speak. It changes society. It brings knowledge on the others that you always call the others. And all of a sudden you realize that they feel like you, and they have stories that are similar, and they need you, and you need them. And I think the documentary world does that very well.
1c) The Origin of Dream-magic
Bob Verrall was a Producer at the NFB from 1945 to 1986. He talks about Alanis' warm friendship with John Grierson, the "grandfather" of Canadian documentary film, and how he coined the term "dream-magic" to describe Obomsawin's wisdom.
Bob Verrall: Dream-magic. Yah. Well that was Grierson's phrase. He just came out with it.
She had met John Grierson, founder of the National Film Board. He was absolutely spellbound by this woman. I think she took him, I think he was a drum carrier on one adventure to a reserve. He carried her drums for her. And they became very good friends. In fact, he was asked to be the godfather of her daughter, Kisos.
Anyway. He was the one who came up with that term "dream-magic".
He thundered at us: Listen to this woman and pay attention! You will hear wisdom! Not the wisdom of Plato, Dante, Shakespeare, Tolstoy - but wisdom from another realm. Dream-magic!
Chapter 2 : Beginnings
In the mid-1960s, Alanis Obomsawin was traveling to reserves and residential schools across North America with her songs and stories. Years ahead of the cultural and political revolutions that would define the era, Alanis was quietly harnessing the power of storytelling to educate and change the lives of her people. She also raised money for improvement projects on her own reserve through singing, public appearances, and fashion modeling.
The CBC took notice, and in 1965 filmed a documentary portrait of Alanis, directed by Ron Kelly. Simply titled Alanis!, the half-hour profile aired on the popular prime time show Telescope in 1966. That program in turn changed the course of Alanis' life, bringing her to the attention of the National Film Board of Canada. It was the beginning of an extraordinary life-long relationship.
2b) Alanis! on CBC
CBC television profiled Alanis' singing and storytelling on Telescope in 1966. Here's a short clip from the Alanis! show.
In our Toronto interview, Alanis describes the events that led her to become a filmmaking consultant for the NFB.
Alanis: It wasn't my idea. I was going from school to school singing and telling stories and history. It was my own way of forcing inclusion in terms of education about our own people. Ron Kelly did a half-hour film on my work. So it appeared on the CBC - it was called Telescope - and the film was called Alanis! And it was from that, a lot of people saw it, including people at the Film Board. So they asked me to come and meet them, and eventually they asked me if I would advise them on filmmaking about Aboriginal people. And so that's how I started.
2d) Let the People Speak
Retired NFB Producer Bob Verrall was one of the filmmakers who first "discovered" Alanis. He describes their first meeting.
Bob Verral: We were about to make a film on a remote Indian reserve, and felt clueless about how to proceed. A friend of mine - Joe Koenig at the Film Board, another producer - he had seen a documentary film on the CBC about Alanis. This film we looked at, and I thought, "Well, we've got to meet this person." And so we did: a group of us met her and talked about her views on film. And that's when she said, "Well, I've seen Film Board films dealing with Aboriginal people, and we never hear the people speak."
At that time, by the way - this was 1967, the winter of 1967 - and she was already renowned as a singer and a storyteller. She was a strikingly beautiful
woman, and she worked as a professional model for a while before she got into singing. She could have been a jet setter. There's no doubt - if she had wanted to go in that direction, she would have found the support for it. But her commitment to her people was so real and so genuine.
2e) History Travels
One of Alanis' first projects at the NFB was to create "multi-media" educational kits about Aboriginal ways of life. The kits contained filmstrips, records, slides, books, and traditional games, and were intended to travel to French, English, and Native-speaking schools.
Alanis: So I started to work at the Film Board making educational kits that were aimed at the teacher. So that was a long process. First of all I was learning as I was doing it. But it was very exciting, because it meant I was working with one nation and getting a lot of people involved in the project from the community. And we did it in three languages.
That was really incredible: When we finished one, we were like children. We were so happy just to think that now a teacher would actually use our material and our voices for teaching. It was such a victory. This was intended for young children, but it even ended up in many universities. People were very interested in it, and it traveled very well.
2f) Moose Calling
"Moose Call" is one of many filmstrips created by Alanis for her educational kit Manowan. The accompanying Cree-language recording describes techniques of traditional moose hunting.
[Images and sound recording play]
Chapter 3 : Future Generations
3a) Future Generations
After working at the NFB as a film consultant, and making educational kits about Aboriginal culture, Alanis' career progressed into film directing.
Alanis finished her first film, Christmas at Moose Factory, in 1971. This was an avant-garde animation that brought to life the drawings of small children in a northern James Bay community. It was one of the first films in Canada to portray Aboriginal experience through a first person perspective.
Since that earliest endeavor, youth and education have been at the core of Alanis' work to help build stronger Aboriginal communities. She has devoted measureless time to young people over the years: as a storyteller and singer touring the country's First Nations reserves; as a board member of the Montreal Native Women's Shelter; and through numerous films made for and about young people.
One of the most powerful examples is the 1986 film Richard Cardinal: Cry from the Diary of a Métis Child, in which Alanis examined the tragic suicide of a young Métis adolesent in rural Alberta. Tracing his troubled journey through the social welfare system, Alanis' documentary had a profound social impact. It forced the Alberta government to reexamine its policies and practices regarding the foster care of Aboriginal children, and is still used in Canadian universities today to train future social workers.
3b) Christmas at Moose Factory
Alanis' first film was Christmas at Moose Factory (1971). This documentary animation used children's drawings to voice their unique perspectives about Aboriginal life in a Northern community.
3c) Alanis on Richard Cardinal
In Toronto, Alanis describes the powerful feelings that compelled her to make a film about the Métis boy Richard Cardinal, and the changes that film wrought in Alberta's social welfare system.
Alanis: It's called Richard Cardinal: Cry from the Diary of a Métis Child. When this tragedy happened, I was working at Poundmaker's Lodge, making another film there. And one night I was in the hotel and I saw the news, and I saw this woman, Mrs. Crothers, who was being interviewed by a reporter. And she was recounting the fact that this young man who they had taken in as a foster child at the age of seventeen had hung himself in their backyard.
And when I saw it, when I heard it, I felt so bad. But I didn't want these people to feel sorry that they had taken him in. And I wasn't thinking of making a film at the time, but I thought, "I'm going to go and see those people to tell them about ourselves." So I just went as if I was related to Richard. And I did not know him at all - but for me, I was.
Then one night - it was the wintertime - and I went to the Crothers' and we had a few drinks. And I thought, "I don't feel like driving back to Edmonton." Because there was a snowstorm, and I thought, "I hope they invite me to stay." And they did, and I said, "Yes, I'll stay, but I want to sleep in Richard's bed." And they opened a trap door, and it was in an attic - they had four beautiful bedrooms that they had fixed up.
I slept in his bed, and that night I was really concentrating and talking to him, and wondering if there is something that I should do. And I had this really very weird dream, and I was asking him how he felt. And I dreamt that I was in a place lying on some pieces of iron - very, very big pieces. And as I was lying there a car came down on me. I woke up and I was choking - it was coming down on me and there was nothing I could do. And that was my answer, and I thought, "I have to do something." So that's when I decided to make the film.
What the film did was change the whole system in Alberta. It was such a scandal, and it was so disturbing to a lot of people, including people in the government.
3d) Cry of a Métis Child
An excerpt from the final minutes of Alanis' 1986 film Richard Cardinal: Cry from the Diary of a Métis Child.
3e) Hard Lessons for Future Generations
In Montreal, Alanis explains the importance of education - formal, documentary, and artistic - in raising awareness among First Nations communities, and helping young people learn from the experiences of their forebearers.
Alanis: There's been a lot of changes - especially when you think of the educational system. There's been an incredible change there, and education is really at the base of everything. When you have so many people that come out of universities with different disciplines, it makes a change in terms of this generation having much more education, and understanding the legalities of things better than we did. It took quite a while you know - we had to learn the hard way. I think our young people now have a much better chance than we did at my time to make a better life.
Chapter 4 : Taking a Stand
4a) Taking a Stand
On July 11, 1990, on a gravel road near the settlements of Kanehsatake and Oka, gunfire broke out between Mohawk warriors and the Quebec police. When the dust settled, a policeman lay dead. This marked the beginning of Canada's decisive "Oka Crisis", a seventy-eight day armed standoff between the Mohawks, Quebec police, and the Canadian Army in which the Mohawk community struggled to defend "the Pines", a sacred cemetery, from development into a nine-hole golf course and several condominiums.
That day, Alanis Obomsawin heard the news on the radio and headed straight for Kanehsatake with cameraman in tow. Risking her life, she remained behind the barricades for the duration of the standoff, filming over one hundred hours of footage. Alanis then spent eight years creating a cycle of four films about the event and its profound impacts. Those films are: Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance (1993), My Name Is Kahentiiosta (1995), Spudwrench: Kahnawake Man (1997), and Rocks at Whiskey Trench (2000).
4b) Razor Wire
This clip from Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance (1993) logs tension as the Oka standoff continues and the Army sets up a checkpoint.
4c) "My Duty is to Document This"
In Toronto, Alanis recalls the day she heard about Oka on the news, and why she felt that her responsibility to document the Mohawk struggle outweighed any personal risks she faced behind the barricades.
Alanis: I was driving at work, I think, and I heard about the shoot out that day - June 11th. I just got so upset. I was working on another film, so I rushed to the Film Board and said, "I'm going to Oka. I want to change my production." And there was a blockade by the police at the entrance to the village, and they didn't want to let us go through. So they would be so busy making people turn around. They didn't want people to come. And there was a camp that was developing, so a lot of support was coming, and people were fighting. And we were filming it.
So now we're behind the razor wire and I have two crews outside. One at night, and one during the day. And there was a very big confrontation one night. So the next morning, my assistant said, "I'm sorry Alanis, I'm not staying here to get shot at, I'm leaving." So I said, "You have to take as much equipment with you as you can." Because I was worried that if they tear gassed us, or they came in, I had the responsibility for the equipment and all the tapes and everything - we had a lot. So he took the camera - the 16mm camera - and all my tapes and a lot of material. I kept the battery belt. Thank God I did that, and the Nagra. Now I'm doing only sound. So they managed to pass me this small video camera. I had this big battery belt around my waist. The video camera, the Nagra, the tapes in my pocket and there I was all over the place.
Well, if I as to tell you I was not afraid, I'd be lying. I was afraid many times. There were times I was thinking, "Maybe I won't come out alive." Because when they start shooting, they are not going to say, "This one is not a warrior." Lots of things happen in those situations. But watching the people, and seeing how courageous they were, I said to myself, "My duty is to document this." And when there were nights that looked very bad, I thought, "My daughter is twenty years old - she'll be okay." And I kept thinking of all these women that had very young children, and I really felt so terrible for them - that's much worse than me. There was no way I was not going to do it.
4d) Ellen Gabriel
Ellen Gabriel was a spokesperson for the Mohawks during the Oka crisis. In this clip from Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance (1993), she reacts to news that Mohawks from the nearby community of Kahnawake have blocked the Mercier Bridge.
4e) Looking Forward, Looking Back
Today, Mohawk spokesperson Ellen Gabriel runs the First Peoples' House at McGill University. She comments on the power - and limitations - of Alanis' film Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance.
Ellen Gabriel: It was a very emotional time. I think when you personally go through something like that, and then to see it on film - it definitely takes you back to those times. I think it's a very strong and powerful film. I kind of wished to have seen all 130 hours of what she had documented. But I realize the constraints that she had. In some ways, I was hoping she would have shown more of the community members, because the people she interviewed were more the people from the Treatment Centre, who were not people from the [Kanehsatake] community. But overall, I think it's a very powerful film. And I think that's the important thing to remember about this whole event - that it wasn't one person. It's really the people who sparked the fire, whose belief in what they were doing was right, and who didn't turn back when all the odd were against them.
You would never be able to even describe - or people wouldn't believe - that this happened unless a documentary like Alanis' had come out. And she helps to get the word out to places that otherwise wouldn't probably hear of these situations. I think she's done a more than excellent job of trying to help her people show their struggles and their humanity, and show to the future generations what their ancestors were doing in the late 1900s and beyond.
4f) An Historic Turning Point
In Montreal, Alanis reflects on the historic impacts that the Oka crisis, and other confrontations like it, have had on Canadian politics and the rights of First Nations peoples.
Alanis: I think that in 1990, when the crisis occurred in Kanehsatake, it really became a turning point for all people in the country. Because that kind of stealing land or taking over land is not possible anymore, where all the reserves had the same kinds of problems. The land is always eaten up by the next door municipality who takes and takes and takes. But now, you know, it cannot happen anymore. But up until then it was. So I've seen a lot of changes politically. I think it's going to go on for many other generations to come. We've made a lot of progress. You know, when you see these stands you think there is no progress - but it's not true.
Chapter 5 : Today
In 1981, Alanis filmed Incident at Restigouche - her first film with the Mi'gmaq people about their long struggle over salmon fishing rights on Canada's East Coast (the NFB released the film in 1984). Today, twenty years later, Alanis has returned her attention to the Mi'gmaq situation.
In 2002, the NFB released Is the Crown at War With Us?, a project documenting explosive confrontations over lobster fishing rights in the Mi'gmaq community of Esgenoopetitj, or "Burnt Church", New Brunswick. During the Summer of 2000, after seeing their treaty fishing rights upheld in a Supreme Court decision, but later retracted by the Government of Canada, community members defied a Federal order not to fish on Miramichi Bay. Mi'gmaq boats were repeatedly attacked and vandalized by non-Native fishermen, and harassed by Federal authorities. Alanis' film is both a passionate defense of the community, and a hair-raising documentation of their struggle to maintain a way of life.
In the Fall of 2003, Alanis and the NFB will release Our Nationhood, another new film about traditional resource rights and the Mi'gmaq. This time, Alanis returns to Restigouche (now renamed "Listuguj") to revisit the community's ongoing conflict over treaty rights.
5b) Incident at Restigouche
In 1981, Alanis began work on Incident at Restigouche, her first film with the Mi'gmaq people. This vignette traces the history of Mi'gmaq salmon harvesting practices from traditional torch fishing to the present.
5c) Present Projects
In Toronto, Alanis discusses the Mi'gmaq films she has been working on recently.
Alanis: Now I'm in post-production with the second film that I began with the Mi'gmaq people. The first one that came out was Is the Crown at War With Us?, which is about the people of Esgenoopetitj, or Burnt Church, New Brunswick. So it ended up that I finished that one first, and now I'm finishing the second one which will be called Our Nationhood.
5d) Is the Crown at War With Us?
The lobster fishing crisis in Esgenoopetitj attracted the world's attention in the Summer of 2000. In this clip from Is the Crown at War With Us?, boats from Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans confront Mi'gmaq fishers on Miramichi Bay.
Miigam'agan is a community member and mother of three in Esgenoopetitj. She recalls how she felt when Alanis first arrived to make Is the Crown at War With Us?, and her reaction when the community gathered to watch the finished film.
Miigam'agan: During the fishing crisis, we had number of people that came and did stories, interviews, and documentaries. When she did call I wasn't open - I wasn't rude or anything, but I was already feeling a little bit overwhelmed with the media here.
So she came, and then it was almost like we were interviewing her. She was bringing her final work for us to look at. It was a history here in the community to see that many people in one room. People were laughing and crying. Even for me, I've lived here for so long, but to be able to hear voices from other community members that I know normally would not talk as openly and comfortably in public forums - it was such an awareness.
5f) A World Premiere
In our Montreal interview, Alanis talks about holding the world premiere of Is the Crown at War With Us? in the school gymnasium at Esgenoopetitj.
Alanis: It was just incredible. These kinds of screenings never happen anywhere else, you know. When you go to the communities it's always so special. What happened there, there were no places, theatres or anything like that. So we showed it in the school gymnasium. And it's the worst place to do anything in a gymnasium - because of the echo, and you know it's always very difficult with sound. But there was no place else.
About ten minutes into the film, when one of the boats - the DFO [Department of Fisheries and Oceans] is trying to ram this boat - and the boat got away. It didn't get rammed in, and they're screaming
and they're so happy and clapping their hands and their feet. I thought for a
long time and I said, "Oh my God, they're missing a good part of the film, they're making so much noise, they're so happy." And then later on, when the boats do get rammed, and you hear the people who were in the boats talking, and you see them - it was just so moving. Many people were crying, including ourselves. It was just so sad.
And then, later on, one of the fisherman starts talking, and he says that when he was a small boy he thought he wanted to be an RCMP. And there's a photograph of him, and he looks to be four or five years old. So everybody laughed at the photograph, and I was really worried for Curtis. It was just an incredible screening. After, when it was over, this man Curtis came over to me and said, "Alanis, this film is extraordinary." He said, "It made me laugh, it made me cry - but where did you get this picture?" It was really funny. I said, "Curtis, don't worry about it. It's only here that people are going to laugh at that picture. No place else, I promise you." First of all, it's such a handsome picture of him, you know. But that was really, it's very different when you're in your own community. They make fun of you and you're really, like, naked.
Chapter 6 : Dreams
I look up at my clock and it's just past midnight. It's now July 11th - exactly thirteen years since the Oka Crisis began. That day changed millions of lives - including my own. Oka introduced me personally to Alanis Obomsawin, and captured Alanis' cinematic spirit for over a decade.
Since then I've become a documentary filmmaker myself. Perhaps I'm only beginning to realize how much I was moved by those visions of her behind the barricades so many years ago.
Alanis: defender of children, beauty, and truth. From the lonely cry of a Métis child in rural Alberta, to proud Mohawk voices at Kanehsatake, she has listened and responded to the calls of her people.
I have always remembered Alanis behind those barricades. But I am honoured now to have new memories of her - from just a month ago, in her lovely space in Montreal, surrounded by spring flowers. "You must hear this song!" she cried. Suspended in time, soon she is dancing, almost floating, to the haunting melodies of Bielka Nemirovski, a track from the latest "Buddha Bar" techno music collection emanating from the beat-box on her desk.
Wherever she is, Alanis weaves her magic. She is of another time, another dream-life - and yet so deeply grounded in the reality that binds us all to this earth. As John Grierson, our collective grandfather of documentary, said so long ago, her wisdom really is dream-magic!
- Katerina Cizek, July 11, 2003
In Montreal, I asked Alanis about her dreams, and how they inspire her work. She explained that recreating her dreams in hand-drawn lithographs (seen here and throughout this interactive) is her way of chronicling an evolving culture.
Alanis: I think that it comes from way, way back when I was a little girl. I remember dreams that I had when I was four or five years old. And this is the reason I do these engravings - because all my life, I want to never forget these dreams. And I kept telling myself: if only I could draw them, this would be the biggest gift I could ever have. And that's what I've been trying to do. So I do images of some dreams I've had, but also images of the past: of things, of peoples I've seen that you don't see them the same way anymore, because the culture is evolving. You know, you live a different life. And I like those images, so I draw them.
All the work I do - I love it. I love what I do. It's like a duty. I am really at the service of my people. But if I had the luxury, if I didn't have to do all those things I have to do - if I was just thinking, "What shall I do today?" Which has never happened to me. But I would love to make some short films about some of the dreams I've had. And work with children. But it might happen yet, we'll see.
Alanis Obomsawin (Featured Artist)
Alanis Obomsawin, a member of the Abenaki Nation, is one of Canada's most distinguished documentary filmmakers. Her work embraces strong social themes and is inspired by the desire to let the voices of her people be heard. Obomsawin, who began her career as a singer, writer and storyteller, dove into filmmaking in 1967 with Christmas at Moose Factory, which she wrote and directed. Since then, she has made over 20 uncompromising documentaries on issues concerning Aboriginal people in Canada.
Obomsawin's films have won dozens of major international awards, and have been seen on television and at festivals around the world. In 2001, Obomsawin received the Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts. In 1983, she was made member of the Order of Canada, in recognition of her dedication to the interests of her people and for the preservation of First Nations' heritage. Obomsawin's many honours also include several honorary Doctoral degrees from York, Concordia and Carleton universities, The Toronto Women in Film and Television's (TWIFT) Outstanding Achievement Award in Direction, the Canadian Native Arts Foundation National Aboriginal Achievement Award, and the Outstanding Contributions Award from the Canadian Sociology and Anthropology Association (CSAA), among others.
Obomsawin, who has been a Board member for a number of Native and women's rights organizations, is a lifetime member of the Board of Directors for the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, and is on the Board of the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) in Vermont.
Alanis Obomsawin Filmography
Alanis at the NFB
Katerina Cizek (Guest Director, dream-magic interactive)
Katerina Cizek is a Czech-Canadian filmmaker who has shot documentaries around the world. After earning a degree in anthropology, she initially worked as a journalist before happily escaping to the independence of documentary filmmaking and new media. Since then, Cizek has dedicated herself to exposing tough yet often overlooked human rights issues. Her most recent film Seeing is Believing: Handi-cams, Human Rights, and the News (co-directed with Peter Wintonick) is about new technologies and human rights. It won the prestigious Abraham Prize at the Hamptons International Film Festival, and is now touring internationally. Cizek's previous films and media projects include Waiting for a Miracle, The Dead are Alive, Indian Posse, In Search of the African Queen, and The Water Wars.
Katerina Cizek: Seeing is Believing