Tag Archives: Rex v. Singh

An IFLS Screening Series? Kikkik E1-472

Following on my post about Rex v Singh, my colleague and Grad Program director  Ruth Buchanan alerted me to another film that would be great for the series, one that she and Rebecca Johnson (Uvic) are writing on, called Kikkik E1-472 (2002).  It’s a harrowing true story from the 1950’s, another one which involves a trial and takes up questions about the use of/place of race and culture in Canadian nation building projects.

The bones of the story are here, on wikipedia.

Kikkik was an Inuit woman who, in 1958, was charged with but acquitted of murder, child neglect and causing the death of one of her children.

Here is an article from the Nunatsiaq News which looks at the participation of Elispee Karetak, one of Kikkik’s children and a student at Akitsiraq law school, in the making of the film:

The story recounts the relocation of Inuit in the interior of the Kivalliq region, the devastating starvation that followed, the murder of Karetak’s father and her mother’s struggle to keep her starving children alive. It is the heart of Kikkik, a documentary the crew is filming in Iqaluit.

The camera is rolling and Karetak, a 45-year-old originally from Arviat, is ready to unravel the emotional tale.

“This is a story of my people, the Ihalmiut, and what happened to us after the first contact with the white people and their government,” Karetak says in Inuktitut.

The 2002 version was made by a team including Karetak, Martin Kreelak and Ole Gjersted in English and Inuktitut.  The judge who acquitted Kikkik, John Sissons, commissioned an incredible series of three sculptures to tell Kikkik’s story (for more on Sissons and those carvings, see this book).






















An IFLS Screening Series? Rex v. Singh

January 14 2013 update: Film Screening January 23 2013.

Next year I am hoping to have a small screening series sponsored by IFLS.  I’ve invited Osgoode student groups to suggest films and coordinated events (panels, speakers, etc).  I’ll bring popcorn.  The thought has made me start looking around at films.  One I’m particularly intrigued by is the short Rex v. Singh (2008) dirs. Richard Fung, Ali Kazimi, John Greyson).  The latter two are York professors, while Fung teaches at OCAD.  The film was commissioned by the Vancouver Queer Film Festival.  Here‘s an article about it in Xtra:

For the team behind Rex vs Singh, the very fact that many of the questions surrounding the case remain unanswered made it all the more intriguing as a story. Unlike a Hollywood studio courtroom drama, for example, Rex vs Singh will offer no easy answers, but rather raise a series of questions….

….the question of how these men identified is all the more absorbing, given that the very concept of a gay male identity didn’t exist at the time.

“The legal notion of the ‘Homo Sexual’ —that’s how it was written in Canadian court records —as somebody who identified with their homosexuality wasn’t really articulated in Canada until the late ’20s and ’30s. So these trials were a few years before that,” Ingram explains.

Kazimi adds that these cases represent a fascinating intersection between homophobia, racism and state power.

(Kate Sutherland (@lawandlit) sent me the notice for a cool looking interdisciplinary seminar,  May 3rd at the Jackman Humanities Institute which includes Richard Fung on the program: click here for program, here for more info, here for poster).