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This documentary by acclaimed filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin introduces us to Randy Horne, a high steel worker from the Mohawk community of Kahnawake, near Montreal. As a defender of his people's culture and traditions, he was known as "Spudwrench" during the 1990 Oka crisis. Offering a unique look behind the barricades at one man's impassioned defence of sacred territory, the film is both a portrait of Horne and the generations of daring Mohawk construction workers that have preceded him.
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February 25, 2023 at 12:56 AM
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Another visual chapter in modern Mohawk history.
Spudwrench is one of the First Nation filmmaker Alanis Obomsawim's series on the Mohawk people.
Featuring the story of Randy Horn, a Kahnawake Mohawk Ironworker who became involved with the Oka Crisis of 1990, a land dispute to enlarge a golf course which would have dislocated a Mohawk cemetery and further encroached upon First Nations land claims (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oka_crisis).
Spudwrench gives insight into the iron-worker trade, the desire of Mohawk men to seek a living wage in the big cities of America amidst a small hometown setting (reservation-style) in First Nations Canada.
The film also benefits from commentary from Mohawk elders and explains the Quebec Bridge disaster, which took the lives of large numbers of Mohawk iron-workers in 1907. Of the 75 workers killed, 33 were Mohawk.
Includes archival footage of the Oka Crisis of 1990.
An excellent feature of the National Film Board of Canada. Other Obomsawim productions of the Mohawks of Kahnawake include Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance (1993) and Rocks at Whiskey Trench (2000).