DER Documentary


by Lisa Jackson
color, 8 min, 2004

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When she was ten, Lisa Jackson fled Toronto to live with relatives in Vancouver to escape her mother's depression, alcoholism and perscription drug abuse – legacies of the residential school experience that many indigenous North Americans were subjected to. Now, sifting through her memories and her mother's letters, she constructs a portrait of a mother whose drive to love her daughter triumphed over her demons of addiction.

Animation, childhood photographs, and stylzed recreations add the young child's whimsical voice to this moving, at times humourous, look at the director's relationship to her mother and native identity.

Suckerfish is Lisa Jackson's first professional film. She has researched and done the production coordination for award-winning educational programming for broadcast on Knowledge Network, and currently directs curricular video and multimedia projects. Previously she worked as a writer and researcher for local and national print publications.

“It's not easy to tear out people's hearts and put a smile on their face simultaneously, but to do it in 8 minutes and one second seems impossible ... Jackson tries to piece together a culture, a life and a family member in a film so poignant and tragic that you will need thrice the length of the film to absorb its images.” — Sabrina Noble

Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
Premiere, Hot Docs, Toronto, April 2004
Worldwide Short Film Festival, Toronto, 2004
Innoversity Creative Summit, Toronto, 2004
Yorkton Film & Video Festival, 2004
Melbourne International Film Festival, 2004
Vancouver International Film Festival, 2004
Atlantic Film Festival, 2004
Edmonton Film Festival, 2004
Alliance Atlantis Mentorship Award, ImagineNATIVE Film Festival, 2004
Winnipeg Aboriginal Film & Video Festival, 2004
Hysteria Women's Festival, 2004
Rendezvous with Madness Film Festival, Toronto, 2004
Detroit Docs, 2004
American Indian Film Festival, San Francisco, 2004
Margaret Mead Film & Video Festival, New York, 2004
Whistler Film Festival, 2004
Air Canada In-flight screenings, 2004
Palm Springs Native American Film Festival, 2005
Satellite Short Film Festival, 2005
Berlin International Students Documentary Conference, 2005
Australian International Documentary Conference, 2005
IMAGeNation 2005 Aboriginal Film & Video Festival, 2005
Broadcast, ZeD Television, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 2005
Dawson City Short Film Festival, Canada, 2005
Native Voice Film Festival, Rapid City, SD, 2005
Cine Las Americas, Austin, TX, 2005
Moving Pictures Traveling Film Festival, Canada, 2005
Jacksonville Film Festival, Florida, 2005
3rd Annual Reel Venus Film Festival, New York, 2005
19th Pärnu International Film Festival, Estonia, 2005
Dokufest, International Documentary & Short Film Festival, Kosovo, 2005
10th Mostra Internacional do Filme Etnografico, Brazil, 2005
Black Earth Film Festival, Galesburg, IL, 2005
Ojai Film Festival, California, 2005
Society for Visual Anthropology/American Anthropological Association Conference, Washington DC, 2005
First Nations Film & Video Festival, Chicago, 2005
United Nations Association Film Festival, Stanford University, 2005
Women of Color Film Festival Project, California, 2006
WorldFilm 2006, Tartu Festival of Visual Culture, Estonian National Museum, Tartu, 2006
Washington DC Independent Film Festival, 2006
8th Annual Artsfest Film Festival, Harrisburg, Pennslyvania, 2006
Native Cinema Showcase, Center for Contemporary Arts, Santa Fe, 2006
Tabor Film Festival, Croatia, 2006
Native American Film and Video Festival, New York, 2006
National Women's Studies Association Conference, Illinois, 2007
Riddu Riddu Indigenous Film Festival, Norway, 2007
MOSAIC Film Festival, Bloomington, IN, 2009

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