Story and images courtesy of the National Film Board of Canada, 2022
Ever Deadly is a stunning National Film Board of Canada (NFB) feature-length documentary highlighting avant-garde Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq and created in collaboration with award-winning filmmaker Chelsea McMullan. The film weaves concert footage from one amazing performance by Tagaq with stunning sequences filmed on location in Nunavut, Canada. The result is a film that seamlessly bridges landscapes, stories and songs with pain, anger and triumph through the expressions of one of the most innovative musical performers of our time.
Over the years, many individuals have approached Tagaq about making a documentary; however, it wasn’t until she was asked by her friend Chelsea McMullan, co-writer and co-director of Ever Deadly, that she decided it was the right time.
Originally from Cambridge Bay (Iqaluktuuttiaq), Tagaq now divides her time between Nunavut and Toronto. A member of the Order of Canada, a Polaris Music Prize and JUNO Award winner and recipient of multiple honorary doctorates, Tagaq is an original disruptor, a world-changing figure at the forefront of seismic social, political and environmental change.
Produced by Lea Marin, Anita Lee and Kate Vollum for the Ontario Studio in Toronto, Ever Deadly explores Tagaq’s transformation of sound with an eye to colonial fallout, natural freedom and Canadian history. We witness her intimate relationship with the Nuna—the Land—a living, breathing organism present in all forms of her improvised performances. To date, this momentous film has received special mention from the Canadian Documentary Jury and the 2022 Vancouver International Film Festival, and Audience Choice for Best Canadian Documentary Feature at the 2022 Yellowknife International Film Festival.
Rising to new acclaim, Ever Deadly has been picked up by Kino Lorber Inc. for distribution in the United States. With a library of over 4,000 titles, Kino Lorber has been a leader in independent art house distribution for 35 years. Ever Deadly is destined to a new, more vital life in a larger market!
Watch now, free of charge, across Canada at nfb.ca.
Tanya Tagaq – Director’s Statement
“This process has been exhilarating and interesting. Bringing the crew up to Nunavut was the highlight for me. Realizing that’s how I feel in the South, in your culture. I am always cautious, not quite knowing how to behave, not having a handle on the rules. Watching the crew learn how to drive an ATV on the tundra and take in the majesty of the land gave me a sense of peace. Thank you to Chelsea and the crew for taking the time to film.”
Chelsea McMullan – Director’s Statement
“The first time I saw Tanya Tagaq perform, my mind was fully blown. When she walks out onto the stage, she gives you an experience. Having the opportunity to participate in channeling Tanya’s art, voice and life into film has been the greatest creative endeavour of my life. Ever Deadly is meant to be an experience, to flood over you and take you on a journey guided by a live performance for the ages. In the process, we touch on many parts of who Tanya is—the unparalleled musical talent, the bold voice speaking truth to power, the poet and philosopher reaching deep into herself, how fiercely she loves her family and how relentlessly she fights.”