Medicine Bundle (2020)

Thirza Cuthand

Medicine Bundle Thirza Cuthand Plains Cree/Canadadigital9.5 min2020

Weaving together family narratives and current thoughts on the pandemic, the ethics of representation, and the nature of the sacred, Thirza Cuthand discusses a medicine bundle which was used to heal the artist’s great-great-grandfather from a Gatling gunshot wound in 1885, and her grandfather from the Spanish flu in 1918. In this film, Cuthand reflects on the ways that the bear cub spirit contained within the since-buried bundle has continued to protect her family from the trauma and diseases brought on by colonization.

Streaming Details

This film is available to stream globally.

Program Partners

This film is co-presented with the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre.

Image credits: all artworks, stills, and portraits courtesy of the artist © Thirza Cuthand.

about the artist

Thirza Cuthand (Plains Cree/Canada) is a filmmaker, performance artist, and writer of Plains Cree, Scottish, and Irish descent born in Regina, Saskatchewan in 1978. She is a non-binary Butch boy who uses she/her pronouns, and a member of Little Pine First Nation who has been making short experimental films and videos about sexuality, madness, Queer identity, love, and Indigeneity since 1995. Cuthand completed a BFA in Film and Video at Emily Carr University (2005), and an MA in Media Production from Ryerson University (2015). Her moving image artworks, including Madness in Four Actions (2008), Just Dandy (2013), 2-Spirit Introductory Special $19.99 (2015), Reclamation (2018), Extractions (2019), and Less Lethal Fetishes (2020), have been exhibited widely at festivals, museums, and galleries internationally, including MacKenzie Art Gallery, Tribeca Film Festival, ImagineNATIVE, InternationalShort Film Festival Oberhausen, One Flaming Arrow, The National Gallery of Canada, MIX Brasil Festival of Sexual Diversity, Walker Art Center, Vancouver Queer Film Festival, Pleasure Dome, International Film Festival Rotterdam, McIntosh Gallery, Berlinale, Urban Shaman, San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, Mendel Art Gallery, Biennale de l’Image en Mouvement, Workman Arts, Blackwood Gallery, and the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography. She is the recipient of numerous awards and accolades, including Best Experimental Film, Female Eye Film Festival (2014), and a REVEAL Award, Hnatyshyn Foundation (2017). Cuthand was featured in the 2019 Whitney Biennial. She shared her disappointment in the controversies of the Museum’s Vice-Chair Warren Kanders’ implication in war profiteering. She has also worked as a curator organizing programs for ImageNation and Video Out (Vancouver), Paved Art (Saskatoon), and Queer City Cinema (Regina). Writing about her practice has appeared in The Globe and Mail, Hyperallergic, Photography Now and in publications, including Women Filmmakers: Refocussing (2016) and The Cambridge Companion to Queer Studies (2020). Her work is in permanent collections at the National Gallery of Canada, Remai Art Gallery, and the University of California at Los Angeles. She lives and works in Toronto, Ontario.

Artist interview