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47 days

49'

Canada, 2004

Production : ONF / NFB

English

French


Society



Synopsis


This documentary is an inquiry into what came to be known as Saskatoon’s infamous “freezing deaths,” and the schism between a fearful, mistrustful Indigenous community and a police force harboring a harrowing secret. One frigid night in January 2000, Darrell Night, an Indigenous man was dumped by two police officers in -20° C temperatures in a barren field on the city outskirts. He survives the ordeal but is stunned to hear that the frozen body of another Indigenous man was discovered in the same area. Days later, another victim, also Native, is found. When Night comes forward with his story, he sets into motion a chain of events: a major RCMP investigation into several suspicious deaths, the conviction of the two constables who abandoned him and the reopening of an old case, leading to a judicial inquiry.

A word from Tënk


It is not news that abuses of power and systemic racism affect police actions, nor that the police are a source of danger rather than trust for racialized and minority communities. The gulf between police officers and communities facing oppression is so enormous that we often refer to them as two separate worlds which, all too often, are subject to tragic collisions.

In 2000, Darryl Night survived a series of brutal, premeditated and heartless acts at the hands of police. After his testimony, multiple similar cases were brought to public attention, including the death of Neil Stonechild. Seen through the lens of prejudice towards Indigenous people, Stonechild’s disappearance was due to his having simply left town, drunk and partially clothed. In 2003, a public inquiry from the minister of Justice’s office concluded that the Saskatoon police department played a role in his death, yet it resulted in no accusations due to a so-called lack of evidence. We’ll add a lack of justice and a lack of accountability, as well, then.

In 2005, Tasha Hubbard began a public conversation about these cases that she wished to have archived to provide information about what police were able to do and to shine a light on Indigenous struggles to have their rights respected. Two Worlds Colliding, with its investigative format digging as deeply as possible into these events and questioning police discourse with a critical eye, will leave you wondering why the “freezing deaths in Saskatchewan” weren’t simply called the “murders in Saskatchewan.”

 

Gabrielle Ouimet
Tënk's Artistic Director

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