Bones of Crows is the first Indigenous and female-led produced, written, and directed drama about the residential school experience in North America. It was created by Marie Clements, a Canadian Métis playwright, performer, director, producer and screenwriter.
The film is a psychological drama told through the eyes of Cree Matriarch, Aline Spears. It reflects the protagonist’s survival of Canada’s residential school system and the impacts of systemic racism, starvation and sexual abuse. Bones of Crows unfolds over a one hundred year span; it captures an inter-generational fight for survival, as well as highlights the strength and resiliency of Indigenous peoples.
I had the privilege of attending a private screening of Bones of Crows earlier this week. Marie Clements and many of the cast members were there in person at the event. Not only was it deeply moving experience to watch the film but it was an honour to learn, first hand, about its creation. Every single Indigenous person who spoke was either a residential school survivor themself or knew a family or community member who had survived. The experience of being there, in that room, bearing witness to the truth of Canada’s dark past, is something that I will never forget.