Deathscapes

The River 7f - This River

Deathscapes

Representations: This River

[imagecaption] Screenshot of opening poem ‘indians’ by Katherena Vermette, ‘This River’.  [/imagecaption]


‘So many people have lost their lives in the Red River — either by violence, chance, or choice — and only a few have ever been found…’

Katherena Vermette


[BREAK]


‘I do if for my sister – she’s [been] missing since November 2010. I don’t hope to find her in here but if she is, I want to get her. The police won’t do it, nobody else will.’

Kyle Kematch


The documentary, ‘This River‘ begins with a poem by Katherena Vermette that speaks to the mass of hidden Indigenous bodies that the Red River holds and conceals. The community led initiative ‘Drag the Red’ which inspired the film, highlights the search efforts carried out by families hoping to find their missing loved ones – a stark contrast to the extreme indifference of state authorities. As volunteers without the resources of a police department, search the river, they pull out underwear, strands of hair and miscellaneous objects. In doing so, they face the unsettling prospect that they could uncover a body known to them. Filmed almost entirely on the river and centred on the experiences of Indigenous people who continue to search for their loved ones, the viewer gets a sense of how expansive and powerful the river is and at times the overwhelming nature of the task that has been set.


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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are respectfully advised that this website contains images of and references to deceased persons.

All viewers are respectfully advised that the site contains images of and references to the deaths in custody of Indigenous peoples, Black people and refugees that may cause distress.

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