#HotDocs22 @hotdocs: Beautiful Scars (April 28, 2022)

Beautiful Scars is a poignant narrative crafted by an indigenous director. Through intimate, detailed interviews with Wilson, Belcourt unpacks an astounding story about a secretive upbringing, self-destructive music career and the moments that led to the discovery of the shocking, stranger-than-fiction lie Tom Wilson was fed his entire life.

The film traces back in time to unravel Wilson’s biographical history and eventually follows him to the Kanawahke reserve, where he explores his Mohawk heritage and meets for the first time the birth family that didn’t even know he existed.

“Making this movie was a transformative and revitalizing experience for my mother and I,” says musician and visual artist, Tom Wilson. “It freed whatever old ghosts that were hanging around our attics and stirred up the sludge at the bottom of our lakes. My mother and I were victims of a heartless colonial system but in the end we won.”

Beautiful Scars blends a hybrid of visual styles, animation and archival photos set to motion. The soundtrack, pulled from Wilson’s extensive catalogue, drives the pace and story development.

Review: “Beautiful Scars” is a special documentary with twists and turns that will make your heartache and your soul sing out. I appreciated that the film challenged the viewer to partake in storytelling, luxuriate in music and consider moments of reflection through the sharing of poetry. A nice change to your film festival pace.

Thirty Four Flavours Rating: 4/5

www.hotdocs.ca

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