Ever Deadly (2022), a feature-length documentary film featuring avant-garde throat singer Tanya Tagaq, CM, will have its world premiere at the 47th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) this fall.
The film is produced by the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and is written and directed by Tagaq herself in collaboration with award-winning filmmaker Chelsea McMullan (My Prairie Home). Weaving live concert footage with sequences filmed on location in Nunavut and animation by celebrated graphic artist Shuvinai Ashoona, RCA, Ever Deadly explores stories of pain and triumph through the expressions of Tagaq.
Tanya Tagaq and Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory throat singing in still from Ever Deadly (2022)COURTESY NATIONAL FILM BOARD OF CANADA
“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,” said McMullan in an NFB press release, adding, “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.”
Originally from Iqaluktuuttiaq (Cambridge Bay), NU, Tagaq has been recognized as an innovative performer for her improvisational blend of throat singing, punk and electronic music throughout her career, winning multiple JUNO Awards and the 2014 Polaris Music Prize for her album Animism (2014). She became a best-selling author with her first book, Split Tooth (2018), which won the Indigenous Voices Award for English Prose in 2019 and has been translated into French and German. Passages from Split Tooth were incorporated into her fifth studio album Tongues (2022), released in January 2022.
Tanya Tagaq performing in still from Ever Deadly (2022)COURTESY NATIONAL FILM BOARD OF CANADA
“This process has been exhilarating and interesting,” said Tagaq of the process of creating the 90-minute documentary. “Enjoy this concert footage interspersed with my family history, Canadian history, and our present and presence.” This year’s film festival will take place in Toronto, ON, between September 8–18.