Edge of the Knife | Feature Film
Currently in production in Haida Gwaai.
Edge of the Knife is a feature length Haida language film about pride, tragedy, and penance. The film draws its name from a Haida saying, "the world is as sharp as a knife" ‐ that as we walk along we have to be careful not to fall off one side or the other. This is the world we live in ‐ so close to nature, our lives always hanging in balance ‐ one slip can change everything. For Adiits’ii, the lead character in the film, that edge becomes razor thin as he is mentally and physically pushed to the brink of survival and becomes Gaagiixiid/Gaagiid ‐ the Haida Wildman.
Edge of the Knife is a story of survival and redemption, secrets and self-discovery, set against the backdrop of the tangled rainforest and storm ravaged Haida Gwaii. Inspired by one of the Haida people’s most popular vital stories – the Gaagiixiid/Gaagiid (or Wildman) – this is a transformation tale with an uncertain ending. The Gaagiixiid/Gaagiid story describes the fate of the young charismatic Adiits’ii, who, as the lone survivor of a disaster at sea, stranded far from home, instinctively clings to life. In his struggle with the elements, he survives, against all odds, but what lives on has little resemblance to his former humanity. In his guilt over the accident, compounded by his isolation, he loses his humanity and he becomes a Wildman, existing in a feral state.
In our version of this story, interwoven families are torn apart when Adiits’ii’s reckless acts lead to a tragedy. While Adiits’ii deals with his own struggle for survival through a harsh winter in the wild, conflicting emotions of jealousy and revenge, sadness and the desire for reconciliation, divide his grieving family and community. A year passes before the families can return to the site of the accident, their summer fishing camp, and there they see indications that Adiits’ii might still be alive. But can he be captured and reintegrated into the community, or must his family and community accept that he is a lost soul? Does Adiits’ii have a choice over
his fate; is he too tough to die?
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Tagged:culture, Film, haida, history, language
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