SG̲aawaay Ḵ’uuna (Edge of the Knife)
Director: Gwaai Edenshaw (Haida), Helen Haig-Brown (Tsilhqot'in) Run Time: 100min Genre(s): Action/Adventure, Drama
Set in the Haida Gwaii region in the 19th century, Edge of the Knife (SG̲aawaay Ḵ'uuna in Haida) adapts a classic Haida folk tale of a man left for dead in the forest who becomes the Gaagiid/Gaagiixiid, or “the Wildman”. After an accident where he is separated from his family, Adiits'ii (York) wanders through the forest becoming driven mad by both natural and supernatural forces. As his loved ones, including best friend Kwa (Russ), set out to capture and cure him, Adiits’ii grows increasingly feral.
The first feature film made entirely in the critically endangered Haida language – fluently spoken by fewer than 20 people – the film is a spellbinding and mythical tale of pride, tragedy and love, set against the stunning backdrop of Canada’s Pacific northwest.
Made with a Haida cast and in collaboration with the Haida Council, this compelling film proves that cinema can be at once a powerful vessel for storytelling and a profound act of Indigenous language and culture revitalization.