Novel turned blockbuster film “Indian Horse” premieres in Canada
It's a dark chapter in Canadian history -- the 60's scoop and residential schools. It’s a difficult story but an important one to tell.
"Indian Horse," originally a novel by acclaimed author Richard Wagamese has been turned into a movie.
The author's son recognizes the need for this story to be told.
It’s the story of Saul Indian Horse, a young boy taken from his family and put into a residential school in the 70's. The movie follows his life, the racism he faced and battle with alcoholism throughout his teens and into adulthood. Hockey is at the center of his life story and it's also his saving grace.
The movie is directed by Stephen Campanelli, who said after he read the book, there was no question that this story was that needed to be told.
"It hit me like a gut punch. It was unbelievable how shocked and angered and embarrassed. And I said I want to be the one to tell this story," said Campanelli.
Campanelli had previously worked with Oscar-nominated actor and director Clint Eastwood on a number of blockbuster films like Million Dollar Baby and Mystic River.
It was a short time later that Wagamese's son, Jason Schaffer, got a call that left him speechless. Eastwood not only supported the film, but signed on as executive producer.
"I cried, plain and simple I cried. Walked in the house, looked at my wife and told her Clint Eastwood signed on. She was like what, she was like really? And I’m like, Dirty Harry, Clint Eastwood signed on," said Schaffer.
The movie was filmed in Ontario in 2016. Wagamese passed away last month before the film was completed.
Schaffer says his father’s books and this film are extremely personal. They were a way for his dad to cope with his experience with the 60's Scoop. And that in the end , it's all about healing. The film premieres tonight in theatres across Canada.