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Evan's Drum

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After generations of silence, the rhythm of the Inuit drum has returned to Labrador. Evan’s Drum is a joyful, intimate window into the lives of an Inuit family who work alongside their community to keep this drumbeat alive.

At the heart of this story is seven-year-old Evan and his mother, Amy. In many ways, Evan is your typical adventurous and playful child; however, when it comes to the drum, his focus and passion for the instrument transcends his age. Among the first Labrador Inuit children in living memory to be raised with the traditional drum, Evan is part of a new generation of drum dancers. He was drawn to it from a very early age and is encouraged by his mother—an accomplished drummer and performer who took up the instrument in her teens.

Proud of her son’s genuine interest in the drum, Amy surrounds Evan with its heartbeat and guides him through the process of creating his own drum, aided by the expertise of Jennie Williams, one of a handful of Inuit women drum makers. The remarkable bond between mother and son, and their shared connection to the drum, link them to past and future generations of Labrador Inuit drummers.

Labrador Inuk filmmaker Ossie Michelin takes us to Happy Valley-Goose Bay and into Amy and Evan’s welcoming family home. Their love of drum dancing reflects the strong sense of pride that Labrador Inuit have in their traditional drum, which has become a symbol of cultural renewal and strength.

2021, 14 min 15 s

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