Listuguj Wants Local Mi'gmaq Director Jeff Barnaby to Shoot His Next Film in His Community
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"The dead are coming back to life outside the isolated Mi'gmaq reserve of Red Crow, except for its Indigenous inhabitants who are strangely immune to the zombie plague." #BloodQuantum
Jeff Barnaby, a Mi'gmaq filmmaker from Listuguj, wants to film a movie in his community, around specific landmarks. Blood Quantum has an intriguing p.o.v and sure to be provocative, gory and scary. Unfortunately, and frustratingly, the Catholic church (administered by the Catholic Diocese of Gaspé), does not want Jeff to film pivotal scenes, including the movie's final battle, near the church, in the center of the community, beside a key landmark. Additionally, in a move that will further hinder his ability to shoot key scenes, the church will not allow Jeff and the movie to use any images of the church in the film; this building dominates that landscape. The Church even indicated they might sue the production company.
This entire issue is ridiculous, but if the church relents on their unilateral and arbitrary decision, it can still be an amazing opportunity for the community to witness a large-scale, media project that addresses complex social issues that matter to the community, such as colonialism, Indigeneity and being Mi'gmaq. As a bonus, some of the film's dialogue is in Mi'gmaq.
Unless the church relents, their interference represents a loss of opportunity for carpenters, caterers, security, extras, etc. For these, and many other reasons, we call on the community and anyone who is excited about Indigenous film making, to sign this petition. We want this movie filmed as Jeff imagined it, in Listuguj, and it is truly unacceptable that the church would block it, without any consideration of what the community wants, or the many benefits the filming of this movie in Listuguj, will bring to the community.
Therefore, we also call on the Diocese of Gaspé to support the community and work with the production company, the Director and the community to make this amazing movie happen, as imagined by a local, Mi’gmaq filmmaker.
Chief and Council support Jeff and tried to intervene but to no avail. When made aware of the situation, the community reacted; responses include:
- That is so not right!
- The community should weigh in on this decision.
- The community of Listuguj will support Jeff. I say 'JUST DO IT' !!
- For far too long the Mi'gmaq has had to ask for permission to do this and that. It is Mi'gmaq territory.
- Sued by the Catholic Church? The very organization that refused to apologize for the horrors inflicted upon First Nations children for 100+ years? Makes no sense to me.
- I say the building is on Listuguj Mi'gmaq territory, and the only permission Jeff needs is from his home community.
- I think the real problem is that Rhymes for Young Ghouls is critical of the church and residential schools, and now it's payback.
- There has to be something we can do. This action just brings us back to the time of the original invaders .... the time of colonization and oppression.
- The community should decide.
- The church has had too much control already.
- You have my ok to shoot that scene in our community!!
- Ridiculous ...... A church for the people ...but the people have no say.
- Jeff should be able to film anywhere on the Rez....his movies are amazing!!
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