Alaska Documentary Takes Up-Close Look at Suicide Among Natives
The purpose of the film, Evon explained, “is to raise awareness, provide inspiration and information on how to work through hard times and heal, and learn how to live a good life and bring an end to the cycles of violence and abuse.”
The film will feature Alaska Natives telling their own stories in their own communities.
“There is so much power in storytelling,” Evon said. “When people feel they are in a safe environment, the stories come and the healing can begin.”
“The sad thing about suicide,” said Enei, who grew up on the Navajo reservation in Arizona, “is we don’t want to talk about it as a community or a family. We don’t want to think about it.”
The film team goes in-depth with their subjects to portray what life is really like.
“We want to break the cycles of abuse, especially child sexual abuse, alcoholism and historical trauma,” Evon said.
“We Breathe Again” will feature an inter-generational series of stories.
It’s about people who have chosen to do something with their lives, Evon said. “It’s heavy but inspiring at the same time.”
The film’s working title “We Breathe Again,” can be compared to struggling underwater before coming up and breathing again or symbolize “waking up... and coming clear about what we are up against.”
To date, filming has been done in Elim, Nome, Anchorage, Fairbanks, the Copper River Valley area, Barrow and Kotzebue. Plans are to continue for another six months in various communities around the state.
Contact Fairbanks Daily News-Miner staff writer Mary Beth Smetzer at 907-459-7546.