Documentary explores the life and art of Kwakwaka’wakw artist
Documentary explores the life and art of Kwakwaka’wakw artist

Beau Dick is a Kwakwaka’wakw artist who, at age 14, returned to the remote village of Alert Bay, where he would go onto become a celebrated mask carver.

Knowing from an early age he wanted to be a wood carver, Dick studied with many great artists, including celebrated artist Bill Reid, to perfect his craft. He was also inspired by Japanese Noh masks as well as anime. His art work were soon sought after by collectors.

Dick was also an activist, recognizing the inter-connectedness of nature, and was a champion of the oppressed.

In Meet Beau Dick: Maker of Monsters, co-directors Natalie Boll and LaTiesha Fazakas have crafted a loving tribute to this remarkable man who recently passed away, by building revealing details, and in its global implications.

What sets this documentary apart is in the surprising ways the different aspects of Dick’s life are presented. Unlike many recent documentaries, which top-load major plot points, Meet Beau Dick takes unexpected turns, much like the life of its subject. For example, the cameras follow Dick to a rare copper breaking ceremony, and an information gathering at a salmon fish farm. We hear from people like David Suzuki, as well as gallery owners.

Although the film does start to drag towards the end, it is a mostly riveting story of a remarkable artist.

Filled with life lessons, including how everything we buy is a political act, makes this a film to be appreciated, and a story worth sharing.

Meet Beau Dick: Maker of Monsters screens at the Vancity Theatre (1181 Seymour St, Vancouver) November 24-29. Visit https://www.viff.org for tickets and information. You can also find more information online at  http://makerofmonsters.ca.

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