FrontRunners : A Play in Two Acts

DVD - 2007 | Widescreen format.
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Inspired by the stories of the Aboriginal torch runners for the 1967 Pan American Games, this film is about the segregation of the Aboriginal athletes and the despair and abuse suffered in the residential school system. It is a story of survival, hope, reconciliation and a dream for a new beginning.
Publisher: [Montreal] : National Film Board of Canada, [2007]
Edition: Widescreen format.
Branch Call Number: DVD 812.6 NII
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (48 min.) :,sound, color with black and white sequences ;,4 3/4 in.


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Mar 10, 2018

I liked this Documentary DVD. It is 47 minutes. It is too scary for young kids to watch. They did an re-enactment of a young male biography from a subjective point of view. It shows his perceptions and emotions as he faced living in a Residential School against his will and the will of his parents. He and all the other kids missed their families very, very much. The school was very strict. The kids were monitored at all times. When they were not in class, they played hockey, ran, worked in the garden growing their food. Sometimes the principal was excessive in his discipline and extreme. They did not express love or respect to the kids. They did not allow the parents at the school. This particular child was a very fast runner. He was allowed to leave the school and go into the outside world. He could have told someone what the school was like; but, he did not tell anyone. Thus, he was not saved from the school. No changes were made to improve the situation at the school for the kids. The running coach and others outside the school were very kind to the child. He got new clothes. If he won a race, the school gave him two food rations. The other children were still hungry. The documentary said the indigenous children were fast runners because they run in front of the sleigh and the dogs growing up. Thus, they are called "Front Runners". In 1967 11 indigenous children proudly carried the games torch across Manitoba for the games. In 1999 they were honored again with a "Thank You Invitation" in appreciation for their efforts. This young man was one of them.

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