Rocks At Whiskey Trench

2000, 105:18 minutes, English, French

TAPECODE 3036.10

On August 28, 1990, a convoy of 75 cars left the Mohawk community of Kahnawake and crossed Montreal's Mercier Bridge--straight into an angry mob that pelted the vehicles with rocks. The targets of this violence were Mohawk women, children and elders leaving Kahnawake, in fear of a possible advance by the Canadian army. In Rocks at Whiskey Trench, Mohawks remember the terror as windows shattered around them. Police had orders not to arrest anyone--and though they stood by during the rock-throwing, they were able to prevent the mob from reaching the cars and attacking their occupants. This video is the fourth in Alanis Obomsawin's landmark series on the Mohawk rebellions that shook Canada in 1990. A painstakingly researched social document, the film looks back at the events surrounding the August 28 attack, and delves into the history of Kahnawake and the consequences of the appropriation of land that have shrunk its territory by more than two-thirds over the last 300 years. Time and healing circles have helped close the wounds, but it will take much longer for Kahnawake residents to forgive and forget.

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Critical Writing

Alana Obomsawin: Then and Now
by Alioff Maurie. POV, Summer 2009, no. 74.
Aboriginal Voices Festival:: Documenting a Harsh Reality
by Susan Walker. The Toronto Star, June 16, 2000.
Montreal Diary
by Matthew Hays. The Globe and Mail, Aug. 15, 2000.
Oka through the eyes of Obomsawin
Maclean's, July 10, 2000, v. 113, no. 28.
Film Recalls painful Canadian event
by Rob O'Flanagan. The Sudbury Star, Sept. 23, 2000.