Join Passengerfilms at the Roxy Bar and Screen for an evening of film and conversation about water and ice along and beyond the US-Canadian borderlands, guest-curated by Peter Adey and Klaus Dodds from Royal Holloway, University of London.
Our feature film is Frozen River (2008, 97 min), set in the harsh and barren landscapes near the St. Lawrence River. It addresses illegal migration, multiple sovereignties and the insecurities of family life on the US-Canadian border. It features Melissa Leo (21 Grams) as a single mother in upstate New York who begins smuggling immigrants across the frozen river with Lila (played by Misty Upham), a Mohawk woman who lives on a reservation that straddles the US-Canadian border. Written and directed by Courtney Hunt, Frozen River won the Sundance Grand Jury Prize for drama in 2008 and earned more than 30 other awards and nominations.
This will be accompanied by a screening of the short film David Thompson: The Great Mapmaker (1964, 28 min), directed by Bernard Devlin, which recounts the story of David Thompson, a British-Canadian surveyor and fur trader who mapped over 3.9 million square kilometers of North America in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, and has been described as “the greatest land geographer who ever lived”. Some of his historical sketches are available on the Picture Gallery of Canadian History, and his map of the North-West Territory is here. He was also known to some native peoples as “Koo-Koo-Sint” or “the Stargazer”.
The evening will be introduced by Pete Adey and Klaus Dodds. Dr. Peter Adey is Reader in Human Geography at RHUL and researches mobilities, aerial verticality and the spaces of emergency, and is also programme director of the new MSc in Geopolitics and Security at RHUL. Prof. Klaus Dodds is Professor of Geopolitics at RHUL and researches geopolitics, the media and the international governance of the Antarctic and the Arctic. He is author of many books, including the recent The Antarctic: A Very Short Introduction.
We’ll also have a short talk from Dr. Philip Hatfield, Curator of Canadian and Caribbean Studies at the British Library, who will be introducing The Great Mapmaker. Dr. Hatfield’s work considers colonial and post-colonial photography in Canada and the Americas (‘Canada in the Frame’). We’ll also have a presentation on the cartoons and comics of the Canadian North from Dr. Alasdair Pinkerton, Lecturer in Geopolitics at RHUL, and Dr. Jason Dittmer, Reader in Human Geography at UCL. Dr. Pinkerton’s research focuses on issues related to public and citizen diplomacy and the creative processes and practices of geopolitics, with particular reference to both South Asia and the South Atlantic regions. Dr. Dittmer specialises in the critical geopolitics of comics and is the author of Captain America and the Nationalist Superhero: Metaphors, Narratives, and Geopolitics; Popular Culture, Geopolitics, and Identity; and the co-editor of Mapping the End Times: American Evangelical Geopolitics and Apocalyptic Visions.