Kímmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy

Includes Q&A

No Longer Available

Film Info
Country Listing:Canada
Premiere Status:World Premiere
Festival Info
Festival Year:2021
Accessibility:Partial Subtitles
Closed Captions
Program Category:Canadian Spectrum
Film Subjects:Addiction & Mental Health
Canadian Culture & Issues
Indigenous Cultures & Issues
Cast/Crew Info
Director(s):Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers
Producer(s):David Christensen
Lori Lozinski
Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers
Executive Producer(s):David Christensen
Writer(s):Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers
Editor(s):Hans Olson
Cinematography:Patrick McLaughlin
Composer:Chandra Melting Tallow


Closed Captions Icon  Streaming with closed captions

Winner—Emerging Canadian Filmmaker Award
Winner—Rogers Audience Award

In this urgent and inspiring chronicle, award-winning filmmaker and actor Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers (The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open) turns the camera on her own community of the Kainai First Nation in Alberta to document their fight against the opioid crisis. Since 2014, the epidemic has cost hundreds of lives on this Blackfoot reserve, leaving not a single member of the community untouched by tragedy. The film spotlights both the people behind the addiction and a host of dedicated frontline workers, including the filmmaker's soft-spoken and wise mother Dr. Esther Tailfeathers—one of the few medical doctors working on the reserve. As frontline witnesses to the crisis, they introduce radical new methods of fighting the rising problem of addiction, relying on compassion and empathy in their approach to heal the many wounds caused by a people's protracted experience under colonialism. Aisha Jamal

On May 1, there was a live Q&A with Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, Dr. Esther Tailfeathers and special guests, presented by the NFB. Watch Q&A >>

Canadian Spectrum program sponsored by
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  • NOW Magazine - INTERVIEW: Tanya Talaga and Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers find parallels in personal films
  • City News - Elle-Maija Tailfeathers' doc looks at harm-reduction strategy in Kainai First Nation
  • NOW Magazine - "An intimate and expansive portrait of an Indigenous community grappling with the opioid epidemic"
  • Variety - INTERVIEW with director Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers

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