Falls Around Her
Written & Directed by Darlene Naponse
Starring Tantoo Cardinal, Tina Keeper, and Gail Maurice
Exhausted by years of touring the world with her band, renowned Anishinaabe musician Mary (Tantoo Cardinal) comes home to Atikameksheng Anishnawbek First Nation in northern Ontario. She returns to the land to restore herself, but her past success makes her a commodity to some, and she finds it difficult to hide from the demands of the outside world. Her sister Betty (Tina Keeper) senses there may be more to Mary’s need for isolation and urges her to reconnect with family and old friends. As Mary gets out more and even starts dating, new possibilities arise. However, the past has a way of catching up, and when Mary starts to hear disturbing noises around her cabin, she becomes paranoid that someone may be after her. In spite of the trauma in Mary’s past, writer-director Darlene Naponse refuses a narrative of victimhood, and instead explores the multiple facets of resilience. Mary knows how to survive, but she also deserves to thrive — and that means gathering the ability to be open to the healing that comes from love, self-expression, family, community, and, especially, the land.