A new documentary is challenging outdoor sports enthusiasts to look at the landscapes they enjoy in a different way - through stories from Xwisten and other Indigenous communities in B.C. who are striving to protect or restore their territory from industrial impacts.
The film follows Marie-France Roy, Meghann O’Brian, Jasper Snow Rosen and Tamo Campos from their extreme pursuits snowboarding in the mountains and surfing in the oceans into the world of activism.
The 75-minute film “The Radicals” was screened at Xwisten on Friday, Nov. 30. Special guests from the film attended the screening – producers Tamo Campos and Brian Hockenstein, and elders John Nole and Rita Louie from Iskut who are featured in the film.
Xwisten’s own Bradley Jack, Allison James, Elijah Michel, Alyson McHugh, Gerald Michel and Danny O’Farrell are featured in the documentary as well, representing the community’s fisheries restoration work.
With breathtaking cinematography, the film highlights the four “Radicals” and their journeys through B.C., learning and gaining inspiration from the Tahltan fighting against mining in the Iskut Headwaters, Xwisten dealing with the aftermath of BC Hydro’s degradation of land and water, the people of Haida Gwaii using art as a form of resistance and a coastal uprising against the threat posed by fish farms.
Along the way, the film’s producers say each community teaches the athletes to understand what it means to be a true radical. The goal of the film is not simply to tell the story, rather it is to inspire the audience to rise up and affect real, concrete change in the world, however that may be.
“It was neat the way they did it,” Bradley Jack told the News. “The film brings snowboarding and the environment together. I think they got their message across.”
He said the restoration work at Xwisten is something his community believed “we had to keep pushing on and working at on the ground” after the damage caused to Xwisten territory by BC Hydro’s power projects.
Money raised during the local screening of the film was split between the initiatives highlighted in “The Radicals.
Jack said it’s possible the film could return to Lillooet so more residents can view it.
“If there’s interest, they could probably try to bring it back for another screening, right in Lillooet.”
The film is an official selection of the Banff 2018 Mountain and Book Festival, the 2018 Whistler Film Festival, the Vancouver Intermational Mountain Film Festival and will be a 2019 official selection of the Wild and Scenic Film Festival.