“Buffy Sainte-Marie: Carry It On” is set to have its world premiere at the 47th Toronto International Film Festival.
The 90-minute documentary is an intimate look at Indigenous Canadian-American singer-songwriter Sainte-Marie’s personal journey as a groundbreaking singer, songwriter, artist, activist and teacher, a press release confirms.
Sainte-Marie, 81, from Piapot, shares, “To turn one’s life story over to a documentary production is a leap of faith, but with Eagle Vision and White Pine Pictures, the process is feeling natural to me.
“I look forward to experiencing the story of my life as told through their lens and sharing that story with the world.”
Director Madison Thomas adds, “Buffy’s truth and message is what the world needs more than ever right now. The biggest lesson I’ve learned collaborating with Buffy on this telling of her life and career, is that in the face of negativity and despair, compassion and understanding are our greatest tools.
“Buffy’s unique perspective on music, art, culture, history and the state of the world is both a humbling thing to witness and a never-ending trail of surprises.”
A press release explains, “Buffy’s life journey has taken her on a long and twisty, often rocky road with many detours from her birthplace at Piapot Reserve, near Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan to the lofty Academy Awards stage and international concert halls.
“Defying the odds she flourished despite a childhood of dislocation and abuse with a natural musical ability that protected her spirit and an innate curiosity that propelled her to the wider world.
“Adopted by a couple in Massachusetts, Buffy received harsh messages that in her words ‘could have ruined me’ – she was told that ‘there are no more Indians, and that I’d never be a musician.’ Surrounded by bullies and a ‘horror of a brother,’ Buffy’s adoptive mom told her she could learn about her Indigenous roots when she grew up.”
Joni Mitchell, Taj Mahal, Alanis Obomsawin, Jeremy Dutcher, Robbie Robertson, John Kay, and George Stroumboulopoulos will feature in the doc, which was filmed in Hawai’i, LA, Brooklyn, London, Toronto, Winnipeg, Saskatoon and behind the scenes of the musician’s 2021 North American tour.