REED: The Life and Works of Roy Kiyooka

This film explores the radical times  in which Roy Kiyooka lived, from the beat era to the turmoil of the 60’s and redress in the 1980’s.  Reed: The Life and Works of Roy Kiyooka is an extraordinary tribute to a great artist: showing a broad spectrum of his work and revealing the personal and social history that inspired him.

Quotes about the film:

I found it very moving and personal and direct. What I liked most I suppose the ‘you’, as daughter, in it, and your responses to him as a father. We see a very real Roy that many of us did not know. We only saw parts of him. And here there is the range of friendships and relationships as well as the range of his art.

Michael Ondaatje

certainly i’ve been thinking about your dad since seeing it. the complexity of his life. the many facets of it. it felt to me like your magnum opus.  what i’m reminded of is something your dad said, about honouring the family tree and the topmost branches – or something like that. so i thought of the straight line that gerry shikatani mentioned, demonstrating it with his hands together – the straight line down through him and through you, your face coming clear through the ice. it all felt powerful to me. the power of the connection that does not let us go.

Joy Kogawa

Dear Fumiko,

Just a note to thank you for your wonderful film. It gave me much to think about. I learned a lot about Roy and the history of art in Canada – seems he was there at a number of key moments. I also loved the way you were able to make visible, in a gentle, courageous way, so many ironies, contradictions and difficulties. You spoke with great clarity. You wove relationships together into a complex picture, rich in nuance and insight (remembering your comment that the film actually solved its own puzzle in the end – what a great thing to say!). I should expect that this film will become useful for teachers, not only for shining a light on a certain period of history but for demonstrating how to make a film, tell a story, that is both a deeply personal healing and the expression of an empowered and empowering subjectivity – your own. Keep showing it.

Hank Bull

Review of Reed: The Life and Works of Roy Kiyooka from the Calgary Herald.


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