‘Maker of Monsters: The Extraordinary Life of Beau Dick’ is a portrait of Canadian art legend Beau Dick, an enigmatic carver from a small remote village on the Northwest Coast of British Columbia. His remarkable masks have been celebrated across the global art scene as vibrant expressions of West Coast Indigenous culture and a sophisticated crossover into the contemporary art world. Dick had an unprecedented ability to tap into the collective memory of his people and breathe new life into age-old traditions. In 2017, his Undersea Kingdom series was listed as one of the top highlights to see at documenta 14 (Kassel and Athens).
‘Maker of Monsters: The Extraordinary Life of Beau Dick’ strives to capture the essence of Beau Dick and his mysterious enigma as an artist who symbolized Canada’s history with the First Nations and the ethical dilemmas faced in reconciling with that colonialist history. Dick was able to use his celebrity to call attention to the injustices done to his people and the environment. Weaving together the personal and cultural until both become inseparable, ‘Maker of Monsters: The Extraordinary Life of Beau Dick’ presents an artist who succeeded in reconciling the two.
The film illuminates a man whose art and life continue to transcend expectations and boundaries. Natalie Boll explains, “We wanted to tell a story of both the artist and the world that informed his work. We aimed to present Beau in an intuitive and authentic tone, and to define his position within Canada’s complex colonial history and the larger struggle for Indigenous rights.”