All we need to do is look to the land, the water, and the air to know that we are destroying our planet to the point where it will soon destroy the human species. Who will protect Mother Earth from people like Big Oil and the Koch Empire? In this excellent thriller, Don’t Say Its Name, we find out that Mother Nature has some tricks up her sleeve.
Don’t Say Its Name
Don’t Say Its Name is a beautiful yet frightening tale of how our indigenous people who have lived in peaceful partnership with the land, must now allow a strip-mining company onto their land. After the WEC mining company gets permission from a few tribal leaders to drill on Native lands, it opens a can of worms between people like activist Kharis Redwater (Sheena Kaine), who wants to protect the land from the extreme damages of mining, and people like Carson Stonefeather (Julian Black Antelope), an Elder who believe that the jobs the mining company will bring to the settlement will help the indigenous community climb out of poverty, drugs, and alcohol.
Directed by Rueben Martell, and starring Madison Walsh, Samuel Marty, Sera-Lys McArthur, Julian Black Antelope, Carla Fox, Catherine Gell, and Justin Lewis, this Canadian horror film keeps you on the edge of your seat from the very opening scenes where Kharis Redwater (Sheena Kaine) is brutally killed in a hit and run accident.
Tribal Police Officer, Betty Stonechild (Madison Walsh) along with the town’s Police Officer, Andy (Justin Lewis) begins the investigation, but their resources are limited as the tribal lands do not have a morgue or a forensic unit. Betty must split her attention between solving the case and raising her teenage nephew Ben (Samuel Marty). Ben is of the opinion that tribal lands will do better if jobs are brought in…but this youthful belief puts the teen in grave danger.
When people begin dying, after seeing a crow, then smelling a bitter scent, Betty seeks the help of Park Ranger Stacey Cole (Sera-Lys McArthur). There is one thing that they know for sure. Someone has called forth the spirit of Kharis and this spirit is on a mission to kill everyone connected to WEC.
The cinematography is an important part of the story. The tribal land is pristine, and productive for both humans and animals. We can feel the frustration between the waring sides of the tribe: those who want to protect Mother Earth, and those who want to improve the lives of the indigenous people. As more people are slaughtered by the spirit, Betty, Andy, and Stacey try to find the person who called forth the spirit. They have a few suspects. Mary Lynne Redwater (Carla Fox) has the perfect excuse for revenge. It was her daughter that was killed in that hit and run…but there are other suspects as well.
It is films like Don’t Say Its Name that make my reviews worthwhile. Rueben Martell and Gerald Wexler have written a fantastic thriller with a surprise ending that will sit with us long after we’ve watched the film. Madison Walsh and Sera-Lys McArthur are the heart of the film. The message is clear. Mother needs to be protected, and if we fail to do so…we are doomed.
I highly recommend this film.