Maker of Monsters: The Extraordinary Life of Beau Dick

A new documentary called Maker of Monsters: The Extraordinary Life of Beau Dick was formally titled Meet Beau Dick.  The older title is fitting because, over the course of 90 minutes, that’s exactly what the audience does thoroughly.  I assume the name change was for keepsake purposes since Beau Dick passed away last year at the age of 61.  But no matter what it’s called, Maker of Monsters is a good movie.  Standardly structured, but an honourable film nonetheless.

Directors Natalie Boll and LaTiesha Tisi’tla Fazakas cover all sides to late Alert Bay artist Benjamin Kerry Dick.  The British Columbian first interested people with his era-spanning art.  His wood carvings captured ceremonial traditions yet they also reflected contemporary designs.  The heritage connection continued when Dick redirected his focus to cultural activism in the face of the Canadian government, leading protests and sending a truthful message about the mistreatment and misrepresentation of First Nations.

Apart from a few animations and nicely bookmarking their film with Beau Dick’s art, Boll and Fazakas play it safe in terms of documentary filmmaking (including clean yet typical cinematography, along with basic interviews with talking heads).  However, this lovely tribute truly conveys Beau Dick’s wide-ranging influence; especially through those heartfelt testimonials from people who will always remember him.


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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie

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