Kevin Papati is Algonquin. He lives 85 km south of Val d’Or, in Kitcisakik, a village of 430 people. He has been involved in the Wakiponi project, offering audiovisual training internships in First nations via a mobile video creation studio. With the short, Wabak (2006) he earned the Main Film Jeune Espoir prize during First Peoples’ festival. His film l’Amendement (2007) was the short screened before Denis Arcand’s feature L’Age des ténèbres.
Interview with Kevin Papatie
“I live in the Kitcisakik Algonquin community. From the first year Wapikoni mobile came to the community, I had a camera in my hands and got training in using it. The second year, I was interviewed on-camera, I did the sound, composed music, did translation. That is how my passion got its start. The third year, I directed Wabak. The inspiration for this short subject came from long conversations with my friend Gilles Penobsway (who co-directed the film). We agree about most things and discussing spirituality, we said, why not make a film about good and evil?
In Rouyn-Noranda, at the d’Abitibi-Témiscamingue film festival, Denise and Denis (Denise Robert and Denis Arcand) saw my following film, L’Amendement, and liked it so much that they wanted it screened before L’Âge des ténèbres. So, my short was blown up into 35 mm so they could screen it in cinemas where Arcand’s film was playing. It is a film speaking out against the cultural losses we are going through and the breakdowns in intergenerational family ties these losses cause.
With the studio we have in the community now, we’ve won contracts to make films on topics such as preventing juvenile delinquency with Liaison Justice in Val d’Or, and another with Lebel-sur-Quévillon. We have a lot of support from the Band Council, from the Kitcisakik Development Corporation, from the AFNQL Education council, from Wapikoni.
I’m proud that my community was able to let young people express themselves. It is one more step on the path to progress and healing.”
Excerpts from the film Wabak de Kevin Papatie
Two voices speak in Algonquin to a child; they seem very close, as they were whispering in his ears.
We see a bonfire in the night and then we hear the first voice :“Welcome into life, Wabak, you will see it is a great adventure. Learn to listen to Mother Nature and walk with pride and with the eyes wide open”
As we see a lake behind the mist, the voice gœs on : “Learn to contemplate the unthawing of the lake and the moon reflection over the snow”
We see a child walking in the herbs along the shore. Then a close-up reveals his childish features (he should be 3 years old). Then we heard the second voice: If you know, wabak, you would walk back the road; you will soon learn the poison of the bottle…”
Again, we see the bonfire and the sparks in the obscurity of the forest. (end of the excerpt)