The Talking Stick Festival – Reel Reservations Day 3 – Number 14 (Marie Clements)

Number 14 Reel Reservations – The talking Stick Festival

(Above are presentation slides)

When I came to view the film, it had already started and I sneaked in at the moment where the actor playing Jordan is driving. Immediately felt the tension in the room and found it very hard to breathe. Knowing that the crash was going to happen just from the energy in the room and the music of the film made everything uneasy. Then for me, since I missed the beginning, the story of who this young man was began to unfold. I first found out how loved he was by his family and friends. Slowly I got to know who Jordan was with his love of playing hockey and how he was a responsible and caring young man (who just made a bad choice by drinking and then driving). Having the story of Jordan unfold after almost living the tragic incident with him, really made me wish that Jordan could be alive today to live out his potential. This reminded me of the discussion we had in class when Dr. Dangeli asked us how Jack Charles Vs. the Crown would be perceived if he started with the ending? In asking this question of the film Number 14 I feel as though I had to put the pieces of the film together more by myself. Starting with the traumatic reenactment of the crash as I did (yet the film was not intended to start that way) I felt it to be puzzling but also a position in which everyone can put themselves. This is because many of us have been driving at night and with not knowing the circumstances it makes the situation more relatable in a way that may take away from the story of Jordan. Therefore it is important that Marie Clements started with a bit of a background on Jordan as a person so that we came to know him and then feel like we lost him, somewhat like Jordan’s family.
I also decided to look at Number 14 as a form of 8th Fire. As stated in Medicine Shows, the eighth fire is an extension of the Anishinaabe Seven Fires Prophecy. A suggestion and wish that now is the time for Indigenous peoples and settlers to work together to achieve justice and work in a good way together (117). As a form of story telling, I see how this is exemplified in Number 14 with Jordan’s friends and family (both Aboriginal and settler) working on this project. The weight of his death was not solely carried by the Aboriginal community but the larger community and even other neighbouring communities. Story telling becomes a powerful tool in having people work together. Similarly to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that Bad Medicine discusses, this film presents what some would think as Aboriginal issues as Canadian issues. We all make mistakes and know that sometimes these choices can really harm us. But by Clements having more than just Jordan’s accident told we are able to know him and his family as people not a “bad choice.” We see how possible it is for people who have made so many good choices and are working towards great things to be in the situation of an tragic accident.

One thought on “The Talking Stick Festival – Reel Reservations Day 3 – Number 14 (Marie Clements)”

  1. Hi Danielle! Thanks for your post! I remember you talking about coming in late to the showing during your presentation and the impact it had on your witnessing of the piece. When I am seeing presentations, having background knowledge of the situation, people and place where events are happening allow me to be completely emotionally involved. I’m sorry that you walked in late, I’m sure seeing the background information would have helped you to be fully encompassed rather than confused. Having the different perspective from watching it from the car crash itself must have left you in a different emotional state than other witnesses. It was interesting hearing your experience when compared to your presentation partner. Do you believe there is a time and place where seeing the incident first, before getting to know the background story, would be a good thing?

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