1846, Paul Kane hitched a ride west, via the fur-trade brigades to document
what he believed to be the last remains of Native North American life "untainted" by
European influence. However, when Kane returned to his Toronto studio in
1848, he largely embraced the Eurocentric idea of the "Noble Savage" in
both the romantic paintings he produced and the book he published about
his travels. By exploring the life and work of Paul Kane, the documentary
shows how his art was shaped by his mentors, his patrons and his passion.
by the acclaimed North American native actor, Tantoo Cardinal (Dances with
Wolves), the documentary brings to life Paul Kane’s epic journey
and his later struggle as a society artist using readings from his published
book juxtaposed with dialogue from the "real" Paul Kane. This
narrative is illustrated with spectacular scenics, dramatic re-creations,
Kane’s romantic oil paintings and the authentic pieces Kane sketched
in the field. Inter-woven are interviews and personal stories from a variety
of people along Kane's route including curators, historians, artists, and
descendants of his own family and the native people he sketched and painted.
courtesy: Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto; Stark Museum of Art, Orange, Texas
Producer/Director: John Bessai
Co-Producer/Editor: Joan Prowse
Executive Producer: Richard Nielsen
Written by: Joan Prowse and John Bessai
CineFocus Canada Production produced in association with Bravo! NewStyleArtsChannel,
APTN (Aboriginal People’s Television Network),
Canadian Learning Television, SCN, Knowledge Network and the Canadian Independent
Film and Video Fund. With the participation of the Canadian Television Fund
and Telefilm Canada.
NOW AVAILABLE FOR SALE INTERNATIONALLY in English and French.
For home use, purchase here.
Canadian institutional/educational sales contact McNabb & Connolly.