Abnormal Freedom (2018)
For many Indigenous youth, abnormal childhoods are the norm. To Kiyari McNab, the memories made in her childhood cannot be simply dualized as good or bad; they can be haunting yet beautiful, sad yet joyful, dark yet warm. Nostalgia seethes as Kiyari shares fragmented memories; some in vivid detail, others like a vague dream. Her courage to do so is guided by her spirit and her vulnerability is motivated by the possibility of inspiring other youth to share their own stories.
Kiyari, removed by Social Services from her mother’s care as an infant, spent her childhood separated from her family, moving from one foster home to the next. After years of emotional, spiritual, and physical displacement enforced by the state, she struggled to find a sense of self and connection to her culture and background.
As a young, Indigenous woman, Kiyari is aware of the neo-colonial shackles limiting her aspirations. But through the personal excavation of her past, she discovers her own internalized oppression. The freedom she seeks requires her to not only break the confines of society, but to let go of the very chains she forged herself.
Abnormal Freedom is a homage to her Cree-Ojibway ancestors’ traditions of oral storytelling, a visual exploration of memories with her family and a metaphorical collage of the challenges she faces. Left with unanswered questions about the complexities of her family, Kiyari is suspended between memories and ambitions; the past that shaped her and the future she will shape.
Directors: Kiyari McNab + Andrea Cessna
Producer: pprpln productions
Cinematography: Kiyari McNab + Andrea Cessna
Writers: Kiyari McNab + Andrea Cessna
Editor: Andrea Cessna
Music: _Orif/Oram (Instrumental)_ by Ursa from album “Prism System”
Sound: Bear Temple Productions