Screened as part of NZIFF 2003

Is the Crown at War With Us? 2002

Directed by Alanis Obomsawin

Canada In English
96 minutes 16mm

Director, Screenplay


Philippe Amiguet
Yoan Cart
Michel La Veaux


Alison Burns


Francis Grandmont


Toronto 2002; Sundance 2003


Director Alanis Obomsawin is a veteran chronicler of First Nations political struggle, so it’s no surprise the answer to the question ‘Is the Crown at War with Us?’ is: most definitely. The director of Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance depicts the controversial events in a New Brunswick community following a 1999 Supreme Court decision that upheld Mi’gmaq treaty rights to earn a living from fishing. During the summer of 2000, the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans attacked the vessels of Mi'gmaq fishermen. This outrage was damningly captured on film: Obomsawin’s chronicle is also a most effective political tool.

“With views presented from all sides of the issue, Obomsawin ensures the Mi'gmaq voice is heard collectively, individually and ancestrally. Filled with stunning images of Mi'gmaq people and the land and sea they have always known, Obomsawin’s film presents detailed critical analysis in a way that provides yet another necessary opportunity for questioning political processes and the intentions of national leaders.” — Bird Runningwater, Sundance Film Festival