There will be two different indie features shown at The Sentient Bean this upcoming week. At 7 p.m. Oct. 22 is a rare public viewing of “Secret Path,” an hour-long animated program made in 2016 for Canadian television. It is an adaptation of the graphic novel of the same name by artist Jeff Lemire as well as the accompanying record album of songs by celebrated Canadian singer-songwriter and political activist Gord Downie (frontman of top-selling pop-rock band The Tragically Hip).
It tells the story of Chanie “Charlie” Wenjack, a First Nations boy who in 1966 escaped from a government-run boarding school and subsequently died of hunger and exposure while trying to walk more than 370 miles back to his home on a Canadian Indian Reservation.
The Secret Path is an animated film adaptation of Gord Downie's album and Jeff Lemire's graphic novel. Working with Downie's poetry and music, Lemire has created a powerful visual representation of the life of Chanie Wenjack. The film is divided into ten chapters, each a song from Downie's musical retelling of Chanie's story – from his escape from the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School, to his subsequent and heartbreaking death from hunger and exposure to the harsh weather. The final product is a uniquely immersive emotional experience - an insight into the life of a little boy who, as Gord has said, he never knew, "but will always love."