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Patty Osborne's Blog

Smokin’ Fish, smokin’ movie at DOXA

Patty Osborne

Cory Mann is a high-energy self-starter with great ideas who has difficulty focusing on details such as paying the bills or filing his income taxes, but when he heads back to Klukwan, Alaska (he lives in Juneau) every summer to catch and smoke salmon, he settles down and is careful to do things just the way he was taught by his grandmothers.

The movie Smokin’ Fish (Luke Griswold-Tergis and Cory Mann) follows Mann through one of these summers, with flashbacks of his time in California when he thought he was Mexican, his life with his extended Tlingit family in Alaska, and his travels to southeast Asia where, among other things, he contracts textile workers to create rugs with traditional Native designs using techniques they learned from Iran. The story is enhanced with photos and footage of traditional Tlinglit life and our view is further widened by the comments of Mann's straight-talking Aunt Sally and his long-suffering Uncle Mike.

Mann was raised by his grandmothers and aunties, plus a few uncles (the Tinglit are a matrilineal society), and in his turn he attempts to teach his nephews the art of smoking fish. Take the beauty of Alaska, add pounds and pounds of bright red smoked salmon, sprinkle generously with quirky, humourous and affectionate characters, add a touch of absurdity and you end up with one smokin’ movie.

No other screenings at DOXA are scheduled but I hope this changes.

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