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SG̲aawaay Ḵ’uuna (Edge of the Knife) (2018)

  • Biography + History, Drama
  • 1h 41m
  • Canada


Price: $4.99 + taxes and fees

Bonus Content: Rental includes 40 minutes of bonus content, including a Q&A with cast and crew from TIFF 2018 and an in-studio interview with co-director Helen Haig-Brown. Scroll down to watch.

A tormented man in 19th-century Haida Gwaii retreats deep into the forest and becomes Gaagiixid, “the Wildman,” in this landmark Haida-language film.

The first feature film made entirely in the Haida language — a critically endangered language spoken fluently by only two dozen people — Edge of the Knife is a stunning cinematic achievement and a spellbinding tale of pride, tragedy, and remorse set in Haida Gwaii in the 1800s.

Two extended families meet at their annual fishing camp one summer on the shores of Haida Gwaii, in the Pacific Northwest of Canada. Charming Adiits’ii is close with the family of his best friend, Kwa, and an ardent teacher to Kwa’s young son. The boy looks up to him, but Kwa’s wife, Hlaaya, is concerned that Adiits’ii’s appetite for challenge may lead to reckless choices. Tragedy strikes when a storm hits the small encampment and Adiits’ii becomes estranged from the group. Presuming him dead, they return to their winter home without him. Adiits’ii creeps deep into the forest and begins his ominous transformation into Gaagiixid — the legendary Haida Wildman.

In this spectacular rendering of a classic Haida story, life on the land is shaped by the power of the elements, where natural and supernatural forces co-exist. Co-directed by Haida filmmaker Gwaai Edenshaw and Tsilhqot’in filmmaker Helen Haig-Brown, this ambitious project was a collaboration with Isuma, the team behind the landmark film Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner. Made with a Haida cast and in collaboration with the Haida Council, Edge of the Knife proves that cinema can be at once a powerful vessel for riveting storytelling and a vital act of Indigenous language and culture revitalization.

DANIS GOULET

Official Selection, 2018 Toronto International Film Festival

Content advisory: violence

RBC is proud to support TIFF’s programming in honour of Indigenous History Month.

We work to make our programming accessible, and have set aside a limited number of free tickets. Please contact outreach@tiff.net for more information.

Director

Gwaai Edenshaw

Director

Helen Haig-Brown

Languages

English, Haida

Subtitles

French , English

Bonus Content

34 mins

Q&A: SG̲aawaay Ḵ’uuna

An interview with the cast and crew of [SG̲aawaay Ḵ’uuna from TIFF 2020.

4 mins

Interview: Helen Haig-Brown on SG̲aawaay Ḵ’uuna

An interview with SG̲aawaay Ḵ’uuna co-director Helen Haig-Brown.