Summer 2018: Pier-Louis Dagenais-Savard participated in the Excavation School of the Anthropology Department of the University of Montreal run by Christian Gates St-Pierre. There he is filming what will become in 2019 a documentary entitled Blackouts. This 24-minute black and white story won the AMN Award for Best Low-Cost Film at 12e Nyon International Festival of Archeology last March.
Made for just over $ 3,000, Blackouts It is an introspective film that looks at archeology and university excavations from the perspective of a student of the nation of Huron and Lind. Day and evening, for a month, about fifteen people participate in a science project at Isings, an Iroquois village on the 13th.e Century located in Saint-Anneciet, Monteregion. Then an intern, Pier-Louis Dagenais-Savard, was commissioned by his coaching director to produce this documentary. “I gave him carte blanche,” says Christian Gates St-Pierre. What I wanted was to make a movie showing how daily life is developing at an archaeological site. I wanted him to present his personal view of his original identity. Pier-Louis switched the shovel for the camera just in time for him, so many things can happen in one day at an archaeological site. There were even times when I didn’t know he was filming. “
Presented at various archaeological conferences in Montreal and Quebec, Blackouts He was also part of the lineup for the 2020 Quebec International Ethnographic Film Festival, which he described as “fresh, beautiful, and sweaty with the truth.” Christian Gates St-Pierre also makes sure to include it in its courses so that students can get a fresh insight into archaeological excavations and understand their impact on Aboriginal communities.
If many archaeological documentaries take an educational angle, this is the personal aspect of Blackouts That distinguishes it from the crowd. Christian Gates St-Pierre asserts: “It is an almost artistic, partly autobiographical film that contains a very critical and personal reflection of the director.” While an ethnographic documentary usually shows a researcher’s view of the subject of studying indigenous people, it is the indigenous person who places his anthropological view on the work of archaeologists. So the outlook is transformed by reversing roles, which is somewhat disturbing and contributes greatly to the authenticity of the film. “
If that weakness wasn’t an obvious choice for Pier-Louis Dagenais-Savard and it took a good dose of courage to incorporate it into his movie, he doesn’t regret doing it. “Investigation Blackouts It was important in my life. The film gave me the opportunity and time to reflect on my own situation – that is, how a Quebec windat could navigate the archaeological world and try to understand issues, perhaps in passing. Improve the situation. It has allowed me to describe in words the issues of the field, but also my discomfort, my pride and my hopes for the future of prehistoric archeology in relation to the indigenous peoples of Quebec and Canada. “
Pier-Louis Dagenais-Savard, who has a BA in Film Studies, is still trying to support the Aboriginal community at the University of Montreal as much as possible. For this reason, he accepted the position of Cultural Painter at the Center for First Peoples’ Students (CEPP) at UdeM. “Uatik Gallery allowed me to create a sense of belonging to the UdeM student community and I wanted to recreate that family feeling of other Aboriginal students by working at CEPP. It’s one of the best jobs I’ve ever had.”
Click Here To view Blackouts.
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