Canadian Women Film Directors Database
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The Wake

Directed by Norma Bailey
Canada, 1986 (fiction, 58 minutes, colour, English)
Also known as "Veillée funèbre"
The Wake
Photo © National Film Board of Canada

Film Description:
"Set in contemporary Alberta, The Wake is the story of the love affair that blossoms between a well-meaning Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer and a young Métis woman. The Métis have a strong sense of community, but there is also a feeling of separateness defined by racial origins and economics. In this atmosphere, the romance offers a new sense of hope. Then, during a dark winter's night on a frozen lake, something happens to change the lovers' lives forever."
-- National Film Board of Canada (source)

Film Credits (partial):
Written by: Sharon Riis
Produced by: Norma Bailey, Ches Yetman
Principal Cast: Frank Adamson, Bill Alcorn, Cynthia Alcorn, Ken Charlette, Diane Debassige, Linda Migwans, Jean Paul, Victoria Snow, Michelle Thrush, Timothy Webber
Cinematography: Ian Elkin
Film Editing: Lara Mazur
Music: Ron Halldorson
Production Company: National Film Board of Canada / Office national du film du Canada
(sources)

Notes about The Wake

(sources)

Quote by the Director

"[For the Daughters of the Country series of films about Métis women] I developed the ideas from reading the history. [...] I said, OK, I'll make these fictitious people and this is what they're going to do. I did very little research with people. It was secondary to reading all the books that are around. There were four women who wrote the scripts for me, and I developed the material with them. [...] They wanted to do it because of what I wanted to do, which is focus on women. [...] Well, for the performers, I'm just scouring reserves, everywhere, looking for Indians who can act. The whites for the film I get through regular agencies—go to Toronto and do a casting. That's pretty straightforward. But the Indians, you've just got to hunt around, in Calgary, Manitoba, Alberta, and some from Ontario. The crew I've got from Manitoba are all freelance. The NFB doesn't have a staff crew in the regions."
-- Norma Bailey (source)

Bibliography for The Wake

Book Chapters

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