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After years of struggle and shame, five First Nations Canadians are bravely telling their stories.

Crazywater is an emotional and revealing exploration of substance abuse among First Nations people in Canada, directed by Inuvialuit filmmaker Dennis Allen. Rarely have Aboriginal perspectives on the sensitive topic of alcoholism been presented in such an honest and forthright manner. 

Dennis introduces Alex, Stephen, Paula and Desirae, who courageously share their experiences. Alex’s struggles with alcoholism were an attempt to forget the abuse he suffered at a residential school. Drinking and drug use were Stephen’s way of burying the childhood trauma he couldn’t bear. For Paula and Desirae—two mothers with a dark history of addiction—family becomes the key to breaking the cycle of abuse.

Like his subjects, the director himself is a recovering alcoholic. Dennis describes his decades-long battle with alcoholism, which began when he took his first drink—when he was only a boy.

The survivors maintain a deep and devoted commitment to their traditional Aboriginal cultures as a means to achieving long-term sobriety. Through their voices, this insightful documentary offers an inspirational beacon of hope for those whose lives have been affected by addiction.

2013, 56 min 12 s

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2e prix Rigoberta Menchu
Festival Présence Autochtone (Terres en Vues)
Du 30 juillet au 5 août 2014, Montréal - Canada

Mention honorique pour le prix Colin Low du meilleur documentaire canadien
Doxa - Documentary Film and Video Festival
Du 2 au 11 mai 2014, Vancouver - Canada

Audience Choice Award for Best Canadian Documentary
Available Light Film Festival
Du 2 au 9 février 2014, Whitehorse - Canada

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