A Windigo Tale debuted Wednesday night at a private screening in Ottawa. It is the first film directed by Armand Ruffo, an Ojibway poet and a professor of aboriginal studies at Carleton University, who also wrote and produced it.
The story is based on an updated version of the traditional Anishnabe myth of the windigo.
"It's an insatiable creature that devours people, animals," Ruffo said. "As a child, I knew about the windigo. It was only later I realized its metaphorical significance."
In Ruffo's film, the creature is a metaphor for the damage inflicted on aboriginal families by Canada's church-run, government-funded residential schools in the 19th and 20th centuries.
The story of the windigo is woven in through one of the characters, who becomes the windigo.
Below: "Gary Farmer plays Harold, a grandfather who goes on a road trip with his troubled grandson Curtis." (A Windigo Tale)