this post is spun out of 1. the fact that it was memorial/remembrance day this month, 2. i recently fell in love with the series anne with an e, and 3. it just should be said. even if i stink at saying it. here goes.
so, first off, anne with an e. it’s this canadian (REPRESENT) tv show based on anne of green gables BUT not following the series exactly. it’s a little darker, a little realer, with themes that aren’t comfortable at all (growing up, freedom of speech, racism, sexism, harassment, i could go on).
and you know what?
that’s really. really. really good.
it’s well known for causing angst in the fandom for its anne and gilbert ship (which i really appreciate), but while i’m currently dying waiting for the good people of tumblr to post the next clips of episode ten, i truly got sold the minute i saw this scene, which is about neither of them. it features an oc (original character) ka’ kwet, a mi’kmaq girl who befriends anne and is in something we today would call residential school.
if we were taught anything right in history, residential school is probably one of the worst evils in canada’s timeline.
that part hurt me.
and left me shocked. and raw.
as it should.
this is ka ‘kwet before the residential school, by the way.
the worst part about these scenes is that it’s real. it happened. for a period in my birth country’s timeline, kids were being taken away and stripped away of their cultural identity, their humanity, and themselves, just for being– what? different? not white? themselves?
there is no way of looking at it that makes it right. it’s not right.
and yet, the only way that we can truly experience even a little part of how that must’ve felt for someone who went through it all is through a tv show that isn’t afraid to show how broken the world is.
i think that’s the tragic beauty of storytelling.
and awae isn’t the only one, thank God.
again, i have talked about jojo rabbit a bit too much on this blog, and i can’t say i’m sorry. (i can’t say that i’ve seen it either, bwah.) a movie about a kid enraptured with hitler and the nazis, finding out his mom is hiding a jew? uh? yes?
even though the scene here is humorous (and i mean, they’re all humorous, it’s a comedy and it’s taika watiti), the dialogue gets me. jojo doesn’t hide his hate for the allies, or anyone against germany/hitler/the nazis, which is a sentiment not just echoed in his tiny ten year old heart, but by kids everywhere in germany. and their parents. and their parents’ dogs.
and that was real. jojo might be a fictional character, but his beliefs were shared, and spread, and poisoned a whole country.
people died because of that. people died because of the residential schools. people have been hurt, people have been abused, and their history seems to be all but forgotten. we’ve learned to take a day to respect it and move on.
it hurts for so many reasons. it hurts because human lives were spurned. it hurts knowing that if i was in canada 2, 3 something centuries ago, as a girl of color, i would never have gotten the freedom to use my voice. or the right to be treated humanely. it hurts that so many people of the past were forced to quietly suffer, and so many people now are quietly suffering, and we must be shocked by a horrible scene to realize something that’s lost in our history textbooks.
we’re so broken.
and yet, in a horrible way, it’s beautiful. it’s beautiful that we can weave reality in with stories and truly portray life. don’t let anyone say stories aren’t powerful– stories can make a huge impact. if we let it. if we never forget.
cause, yes, there was good with the bad. truly amazing things did happen, wonderful things. and those things helped lead us to where we are today. it isn’t fair to bring up injustice after injustice without showing how beautiful the world was, not making either lesser, but showing both as real life. and life seems to have kept the pattern anyway.
but maybe, through every controversial story, every harsh reality we come to through uncovering our histories, maybe through the content we create and how we respond to people totally different from ourselves, when we fight for the rights of those who cannot fight for themselves, when we take a stand with those who have nobody, when we show God’s unwavering, absolutely nondiscriminatory love to e v e r y o n e, through our art, through our words, through ourselves, maybe that’s how we never forget.
what a story it’d take to make us do that. i believe it’s called life, but not sure if anyone still listens to it, or the one who writes it. here’s hoping we do.
anyway, i’m still anxiously hoping ka ‘kwet’s story gets a happy ending, even though history has proven otherwise, just to see what could have been. and what could be now. and i hope that orpheus doesn’t turn around, and i hope a million little things get happy endings that i know won’t be.
but maybe they could.
maybe they could.
~give those kids and me the brand new century, jo~