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The Washing of Tears

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In 1903, a unique and magnificent Whaler's shrine was shipped from Friendly Cove, on the far northwest coast of Canada, to the Museum of Natural History, New York. The shrine had lain at the cultural heart of the Mowachaht, whale hunters and fishermen who had lived at Friendly Cove for thousands of years. In the 1960s and '70s, all but one family left their ancient village--they moved to Vancouver Island, to a new site under the walls of a pulp mill. They suffered extremes of pollution, violence, alcohol.... Then, in the 1990s, in defiance of the agony of their history and to overcome the grief of the present, the Mowachaht and their neighbours, the Muchalaht, revived their songs and dances, revisited their shrine and rediscovered their pride.

1994, 54 min 41 s