The Secret Path

Documentary, Drama

Region: Ontario and Nunavut

Canadian Release Date: October 23, 2016

Secret Path is a unique collaboration between legendary Canadian songwriter and singer Gord Downie and acclaimed graphic artist Jeff Lemire. Through song and animation this powerful film tells the story of one of the thousands of young indigenous children who died in residential schools in Canada. Between the early 1800s and 1996, over 150,000 Indigenous children were systematically taken from their families and sent away to residential schools run by church organizations and funded by the Canadian government. Many were forbidden to speak their language and practice their own culture. They were all to assimilate into Canadian culture. Secret Path is the story of 12-year-old Chanie Wenjack who ran away from Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School in Kenora, Ontario and set out to walk home to Ogoki Post - over 600 kilometres away. Working with Gord Downie's poetry and music, Jeff Lemire has created a powerful visual representation of the life of Chanie Wenjack, a Native American boy on a long Odyssey home. The film is divided into ten chapters, each a song from Downie's musical retelling of Chanie's story – from his escape from the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School, to his subsequent and heartbreaking death from hunger and exposure to the harsh weather. The final product is a uniquely immersive emotional experience - an insight into the life of a little boy who, as Gord has said, he never knew, 'but will always love.'


DIRECTOR: Gord Downie, Justin Stephenson, Mike Downie

Cast/Participants: Gord Downie