Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

October 18, 2022

'We Breathe Again' Featured on Vision Maker Film Fest's focus on Alaska

We Breathe Again. Screen capture by Censored News.

'We Breathe Again' Featured this week on Vision Maker film festival's focus on Alaska

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

'We Breathe Again," is featured on today's Vision Maker Media film festival, free online. It shares the story of the pain and healing work underway as Native youths commit suicide, and a generation recovers from boarding school abuse where children were beaten for speaking for their language.

This week the film festival features films from Alaska, including Aleut Story, the documentary of Aleut forced into U.S. internment camps during WWII where many died of starvation and disease.

Watch the film

We Breathe Again. Screen capture by Censored News.


Rarely heard of 40 years ago, suicide among Alaska Native peoples is now a silent epidemic — 3.5 times higher than the national average — and affecting Alaska Native men between the ages of 15-24 at the highest rate in the country. Alaska's rate of alcohol-related deaths is more than double the rest of the nation, with Alaska Natives accounting for half of those deaths.

For centuries Alaska Native peoples survived the harsh conditions of life in the far north while their social, cultural, and spiritual practices thrived. In the 1700’s the battle to claim Alaska and its peoples began, first with Russia and then the United States, setting into motion disruptive changes for Alaska’s first peoples. The painful scars from colonization continue to cycle from one generation to the next. Faced with heartbreaking challenges, Alaska Native communities are striving to recover and regain balance.

In a landscape as dramatic as its stories, We Breathe Again intimately explores the lives of five Alaska Native people, each confronting the impacts of historic and contemporary trauma. Reflected in the northern lights and the city streetlights, from the ice roads to the asphalt, the characters battle for personal healing, hoping to break new trail for their families and their communities to follow.

No comments: