Buffy Sainte-Marie: Carry It On

February 6, 2023

Showings 4:30, 7:00 and 9:10pm

Canada | 2022 | English | Documentary | 90 minutes

The life, music, and activism of legendary Indigenous singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie are explored in this documentary that is as captivating as its subject, who smashed through barriers to become an inspiration to fans and fellow musicians alike. Written by Sainte-Marie biographer Andrea Warner and directed by Madison Thomas, Carry It On is not only a fascinating music documentary, but also an inspirational, moving, and powerful portrait of an artist who has always dedicated her life to social and political causes. A self-taught musician with a unique sense of phrasing, Sainte-Marie quickly became established in the 1960s folk-music mecca of Greenwich Village. Bob Dylan and fellow Canadians Robbie Robertson and Joni Mitchell counted themselves among her fans. She later became the first Indigenous person to win an Oscar (Best Original Song in 1983 for “Up Where We Belong,” from An Officer and a Gentleman) and was the first recurring Indigenous guest star on Sesame Street.

But Sainte-Marie is more than a great singer and songwriter. Her integrity and insistence on addressing subjects others avoid has earned her a unique kind of respect. This well-researched film divulges many lesser-known details of Sainte-Marie’s life, and brings together an amazing collection of musicians whose love and admiration is palpable — most notably Mitchell, who beams with affection when speaking about her. Drawing on Sainte-Marie’s strength, humility, and experience, Thomas creates a must-see documentary. Audiences will be struck by its message of love and tolerance, and by the resilience and courage of its awe-inspiring subject.