In the 1800s, on the remote islands of Haida Gwaii off the west coast of British Columbia, two extended families re-unite at their annual summer fishing camp. Soon conflict between a charismatic young nobleman, Adiits’ii, and his best friend Kwa, tears their interwoven families apart.
Realized in a language which less than 20 people now speak, Edge of the Knife is a singular act of lingual preservation and a mythic story of revenge, family, and the supernatural amidst the breathtaking landscapes of British Columbia’s Haida Gwaii. Presented in collaboration with Canada Now.
Regardless of how important Edge of the Knife may be, it is a cracking good tale, expertly told and beautifully executed. Organized around a fraternal struggle that is both intimate and elemental, Gwaii Edenshaw and Helen Haig-Brown’s film will remind many of Atanarjuat in its raw narrative power.
One of the very few films where I felt my experience was profoundly decentralized - I pretty frequently didn't know what was going on which made it frustrating but also intriguing. Far from impenetrable, but nevertheless very unique not only in its use of language (Haida, cinematic, etc.), worthy of repeat viewings
Brutal in its images and not even violently, but, in my opinion, deeply haunting and thoughtfull. If I imagine what people imagined when they were sitting around the central fireplace and listening to this myth of the wild man, told by the villages storyteller. It must have felt like this movie. Brilliant and timeless.