Winner of the 2024 Directing Award in its U.S. Documentary category at Sundance Film Festival, Julian Brave NoiseCat and Emily Kassie’s Sugarcane is one of the most gripping documentaries of the year. Set for an August 9 theatrical release from National Geographic Documentary Films, the film explores the history and trauma inflicted on those in the Canadian Indian residential school system. Ahead of the release, the first trailer has arrived.

Here’s the synopsis: “In 2021, evidence of unmarked graves was discovered on the grounds of an Indian residential school run by the Catholic Church in Canada. After years of silence, the forced separation, assimilation and abuse many children experienced at these segregated boarding schools was brought to light, sparking a national outcry against a system designed to destroy Indigenous communities. Set amidst a groundbreaking investigation, SUGARCANE illuminates the beauty of a community breaking cycles of intergenerational trauma and finding the strength to persevere.”

Dan Mecca said in his review, “It’s impossible to overstate the trauma that is explored throughout Sugarcane, Julian Brave NoiseCat and Emily Kassie’s harrowing documentary on the sins of St. Joseph’s Mission in British Columbia and the Canadian Indian residential school system as a whole.”

See the trailer below.

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