A short film by Jesse Gouchey & Xstine Cook.

5 min 49 sec

Using spray paint on a fence and garage where Aboriginal mother and grandmother Gloria Black Plume was brutally murdered in 1999, Cree artist Jesse Gouchey paints a large scale animation of a bluebird in flight. The beauty and freedom of the bluebird’s motion is contrasted with remembrances of Gloria’s surviving family members, who give an emotional glimpse of a woman lost to violence and the injustice of the legal system.

‘Spirit of the Bluebird’ is a tribute to a woman who embodied the bluebird spirit and speaks to deeper themes of the ongoing mistreatment of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples by the criminal justice system, and the long term negative effects of the Residential School system.

Music by Kainai singer Jonathan Tall Man, Gloria Black Plume’s gifted nephew, weaves effortlessly throughout.

Directed by: Xstine Cook & Jesse Gouchey

Animation by: Jesse Gouchey

Edited by: Neil Eveson

Produced by: Calgary Animated Objects Society

Click to watch the Trailer

Jesse Gouchey and the Spirit of the Bluebird mural.         Photo by Sean Dennie

Click for Calgary Herald Article about Spirit of the Bluebird going to TIFF

Click to hear CBC interview with Jesse & Xstine

Click for Windspeaker article on Spirit of the Bluebird

Click for Windspeaker article on Mural Project

Click for Beatroute article on Jesse Gouchey

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ImagineNATIVE, Oct 19-23, 2011

New Orleans Film Festival, Oct 14-20, 2011

Antimatter Film Festival, October 14-22, 2011



WNDX Festival in Winnipeg, Sept 30 @ 9:00 pm

Toronto International Film Festival, Sept 13 @ 7:30, Sept 14 @ 2:30

Biindigaate Aboriginal Film Festival, Sept 23-25, 2011

Commffest Global Community Film Festival,Sept 22-25, 2011

Williamsburg IFF, Sept 22-25, 2011

Naperville Independent Film Festival, Sept 17-24, 2011

Cinefest Sudbury, Sept 17-25, 2011

Animazing Spotlight, nominated for Best of Fest, Sept 17-18, 2011

NW Animation Festival – Best of the Fest, Sept 10, 2011

SF Shorts, Sept 8-10, 2011

Brainwash, Sept 3, 9, 10, 2011



New York City International Film Festival, Aug 18-24, 201

Grand Rapids Film Festival, Aug 10-12, 2011


JULY 2011

Roxbury International Film Festival, July 28-31, 2011

Janison Short Sharp Film Festival, Runner up – Best Animation

click below to donate to Spirit of the Bluebird’s travel fund:

Visit the 2007 festival site