A celebration of the strength, wisdom, beauty and humour of Native women; of Native culture and people, surviving and thriving.

It Starts With a Whisper was produced in the Six Nations/Brantford area, with an all-Native cast, and features locations on the Grand River which runs through the Six Nations Reserve. The film blends traditional Iroquois imagery, music and themes with motifs from contemporary, secular life. An original score and innovative visuals make It Starts With a Whisper a delight to watch, as well as a timely challenge to movie stereotypes of First Nations people.

Eighteen-year-old Shanna Sabbath, who has grown up on the Reserve, must now decide what path to follow in life. The choice between traditional and contemporary values seems impossible. She feels all alone, yet she is watched over by ancestral spirits - three “matriarchal clowns” who sometimes appear in the form of her outrageous aunts: Emily, Molly and Pauline. The aunts take Shanna on a mythic journey to Niagara Falls. The waters that whispered along the banks of the Grand River have become the thundering torrents of Niagara Falls, as native people around the world celebrate their cultures and gain empowerment. Her aunts’ warmth and humour, and a dream-like encounter wih a well-known native leader, help Shanna realize she is loved and is entitled to live her life, remembering and respecting the people of the past and traditional ways.

Cast: Elijah Harper,Elizabeth Burning, Debra Doxtater, everley miller, Elizabeth Doxtater. "

**** Colorful and imaginative. Recommended for academic and public libraries having strong multicultural or women's studies collections." - Video Rating Guide for Libraries

Shooting Format


Additional Details

Available Subtitle

Screening Formats

  • 3/4 tape (umatic),
  • 16 mm,
  • AppleProRes,
  • Digibeta,
  • H.264,


Provided By

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