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SUGARCANE Trailer: A History of Indigenous Trauma is Uncovered in Sundance-Winning Documentary


Over the past few years, a series of exposés and media (see Killers of the Flower Moon) have shed light on various injustices inflicted on Indigenous populations throughout history. But nothing will truly prepare you for the earth-shattering truths uncovered in the new documentary, Sugarcane. Directed by Julian Brave NoiseCat and Emily Kassie, who both took home the U.S. Documentary Directing Award at Sundance this year, it uncovers – in shocking detail and testimony – years of abuse, missing children, and deaths in an Indian residential school run by the Catholic Church in Canada. The filmmakers interviewed numerous subjects deeply connected to the school’s history, including NoiseCat’s father, Ed Archie NoiseCat, who himself escaped a tragic fate there. National Geographic Documentary Films has just released the official trailer ahead of its August 9 theatrical release.

Here’s the official 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.

Check out the trailer and poster below.

Sugarcane Official Poster

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M.J. O'Toole began writing for HtN in early 2021 during the Sundance Film Festival. An NYC native and lifelong cinephile, his favorite films include Chungking Express, The Three Colors Trilogy, Hiroshima Mon Amour, Lovers on the Bridge, and Midnight Cowboy. He is the Digital Marketing Manager for the agency 3rd Impression - working alongside Editor-at-large Matt Delman - that specializes in digital marketing for independent film. He holds a BA from Adelphi University and a Masters in Digital Photography from the School of Visual Arts. You can check out his portrait and street photography on Instagram.

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