Dance Me Outside Film Analysis

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“Dance me Outside” by W. P. Kinsella tells the story of little Margaret Wolfchild, an eighteen year old Indigenous mother who is brutally murdered by Clarence Gaskell at the Blue Quills Dance Hall (21). The film by the same name attempts to convey a similar message, but there are key differences such as overlooking the Gaskell’s trial. The broader scope of film allows for the story to be told through multiple perspectives, aiding in rounding out the characters and providing them with a realistic dynamism. In her book “Iskwewak Kah Yaw Ni Wahkomakanak” Janice Acoose criticizes Kinsella’s portrayal of Indigenous women, particularly a character from a different story of Kinsella’s named Linda Starr (69). Acoose asserts that Kinsella “exhibits…show more content…
Silas is a young writer, who prefers reading about “Indian history”, and is attending a mechanic class at NAIT, displaying that although he embraces his culture, he is willing to step outside of it to further his prospects. Throughout the text, he describes the women around him by their looks first, noting Sadie’s “skinny” frame and “sharp” features, as well as lacking competence when it comes to the planning of Gaskell's murder (26). Silas is by no means a perfect eighteen year old, but despite characters being relatively static and the story being relayed through broken english, the female characters in Dance Me Outside are not just passive objects, they are key players throughout the film and text, and are realistically depicted as human, rather then inherently bad. As Acoose points out, the text critiques the Canadian justice system with its illustration of Gaskell’s trial, which resembles the trial of Helen Betty Osborne (75). The court scene attempts to illuminate the binaries between white and indigenous people, as well as showcase and poke holes in Canada’s biased justice

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