NDN Survival Trilogy

NDN Survival Trilogy brings together three of Thirza Cuthand’s recent short films that tackle the issue of extractive capitalism and its effects on the Indigenous population of Canada. Cuthand trains an idiosyncratic, queer lens on a wide range of interconnected topics:
Extractions parallels resource extraction with the booming child apprehension industry. As the filmmaker reviews how these industries have affected her, she reflects on having her own eggs retrieved and frozen to make an Indigenous baby. Grappling with a latent gas mask fetish, in Less Lethal Fetishes Cuthand muses on art world political controversies, toxic emissions from the petrochemical industry, and complicity in repression and pollution as an artist enmeshed in an art and film industry propped up by dirty funders. Reclamation is a documentary futurism short about three Indigenous survivors left behind on Earth after white people leave a destroyed planet behind for Mars. While seemingly dystopic, this film is filled with hope and humor and looks at potential solutions for current crises.

In collaboration with the Embassy of Canada.
by Thirza Cuthand
with Thirza Cuthand, Lacey Hill, Cherish Violet Blood, Elwood Jimmy
2016 English 37’ Colour Documentary form


  • Thirza Cuthand (Narrator)
  • Lacey Hill
  • Cherish Violet Blood
  • Elwood Jimmy
  • Thirza Cuthand


Written and Directed by Thirza Cuthand
Cinematography Thirza Cuthand
Montage Thirza Cuthand
Sound Design Thirza Cuthand
Sound Thirza Cuthand
Costumes Thirza Cuthand
Casting Thirza Cuthand
Producer Thirza Cuthand
Executive Producers Thirza Cuthand, Svetla Turnin

Produced by

Fit of Pique Productions

Thirza Cuthand

Thirza Cuthand has been making short experimental narrative videos and films about sexuality, madness, queer identity and love, and Indigeneity since 1995, which have screened in festivals and galleries internationally. She completed her BFA majoring in Film and Video at Emily Carr University of Art and Design in 2005, and her MA in Media Production at Ryerson University in 2015. She has also written three feature screenplays and has performed. She is of Plains Cree and Scots descent, a member of Little Pine First Nation, and currently resides in Toronto. Her work NDN Survivla Trilogy was shown at Forum Expanded 2020.


1995 Lessons in Baby Dyke Theory; 3 min. 1996 My Sister; with Danielle Ratzlaff, 5 min. · Colonization: The Second Coming; 3 min. 1997 Working Baby Dyke Theory; 5 min. · Bisexual Wannabe; 3 min. · Earth Flesh; 1 min. 1998 Untouchable; 4 min. 1999 Manipulation/Dictation; 4 min. · Thirza Cuthand’s Through the Looking Glass; 14 min. · Helpless Maiden Makes an “I” Statement; 6 min. 2001 Anhedonia; 9 min. 2004 Love & Numbers; 8 min. 2008 Madness in Four Actions; 9 min. · You Are A Lesbian Vampire; 3 min. 2010 Homelands; 53 min. 2012 Sight; 3 min. · Boi Oh Boi; 9 min. 2013 Just Dandy; 7 min. 2015 2 Spirit Introductory Special $19.99; 4 min. 2017 The Longform Lesbian Census; with Riki Yandt, 4 min. · 2 Spirit Dreamcatcher Dot Com ; 4 min. · Thirza Cuthand Is an Indian Within the Meaning of the Indian Act; 8 min. 2018 Reclamation; 13 min. 2019 Devout and Out: Susan; 20 min. · Extractions; 15 min. · WomanDress; 5 min. · Less Lethal Fetishes; 9 min. 2020 NDN Survival Trilogy; 37 min., Forum Expanded 2020 2021 Medicine and Magic

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2022