Door Number 3 Productions Inc.
Hybrid Documentary Feature

Trailer

Latest Info & Screenings

Synopsis

He’s from the “fresh-out-of-the-bush, partly civilized, colonized, displaced people,” and he’s here to take us to the stars. Lisa Jackson’s portrait of Cree Elder Wilfred Buck moves between earth and sky, past and present, bringing to life ancient teachings of Indigenous astronomy and cosmology to tell a story that spans generations. Adapted from Buck’s rollicking memoir I Have Lived Four Lives, the film weaves together stories from his life, including his harrowing young years of displacement and addiction. Seamlessly fusing present-day scenes with cinematic re-enactments and archival footage, this intimate yet expansive documentary takes us on an inspiring journey to the space beyond, and to the spaces between us all. 

A Door Number 3 Productions film in coproduction with the National Film Board of Canada. In association with Clique Pictures. Produced with the participation of the Canada Media Fund, Telefilm Canada, Ontario Creates. Produced in association with Crave. Produced with the participation of Rogers Documentary Fund and the Indigenous Screen Office. Produced in association with JustFilms/Ford Foundation and APTN. Produced with support from Sandbox Films and the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program.

Select Press

Variety – ‘Wilfred Buck,’ About Indigenous Star Lore Expert, Is a Feel-Good Story, Director Lisa Jackson Says
“Western science is excellent at breaking things down into the tiniest parts, and Indigenous knowledge is really expert in seeing how the parts fit together as a whole, understanding that relationship, and where we, as humans, fit into the big picture.” 

Canadian Press – Radheyan Simonpillai
“Wilfred Buck documentary explores the journey and wisdom of Indigenous ’star guy’.”
Globe & Mail, Winnipeg Free Press and others

Denmark’s main paper Politiken (5 out of 6 stars) – Lucia Odoom, translated | CPH:DOX
“The film is a long poem that reminds me of the James Baldwin documentary ‘I Am Not Your Negro’, which is just as good a text as it is a good film.”

CBC Arts – Lucius Dechausay | Hot Docs 10 Must See Films
“Anishinaabe writer-director Lisa Jackson has made a documentary that lives and breathes.”  
“This doc is a wild and thoughtful ride that shows the knowledge of our ancestors will never be lost as long as we are looking in the right places.”

Variety – Lise Pedersen | Widening the Scope of Science Docs at CPH:DOX: Storytelling That Delivers More Questions Than Answers
“What we’re trying to do is get away from that and tell science stories that ask more questions than they give answers. This includes redefining who gets to be called a scientist in our films,” said Harrop, citing as an example Sandbox co-production “Wilfred Buck,” which had its world premiere at CPH:DOX and tells the story of an Indigenous star scientist who provides a non-Western view of astronomy.

STIR – Jessica Werb
“Wilfred Buck, the titular character of Anishinaabe writer-director Lisa Jackson’s hybrid documentary, has a habit of dropping nuggets of wisdom with disarming nonchalance.”

POV Mag – Marc Glassman | Hot Docs
“Jackson’s profile of star gazer and brilliant speaker Wilfred Buck is an engaging, startling piece…”

VarietyHow Canadian Filmmaker Lisa Jackson Plans to Weave Wilfred Buck’s Wild Ride ‘From the Gutter to the Stars’ With Indigenous Astronomy Lore
“Jackson says of his autobiography, “From the first page, that was the clincher for me. The voice that he wrote in reminded me of Jack Kerouac, or the Beat poets.”

Hollywood North Magazine – A New Look at the Cosmos with WILFRED BUCK | 8.5/10 rating
“[A]stonishingly well-crafted period recreations.”
“Exquisitely shot on 16mm film stock, the material blends so seamlessly with surrounding historical stock footage that you could almost swear someone actually traveled back in time to follow Buck with a camera in the 70s!”
“Lisa Jackson’s doc earns its place as a bright star in the reconciliation starscape.”

The Gate Blog
“Wilfred Buck is effortlessly inspirational.”
“Buck has found his place in the world after a lifetime of searching, and his story is enough to make anyone else believe that they might be able to find their same niche, too.”

What She Said Blog
“[A] remarkable portrait of a one-of-a-kind teacher.”

Festivals

Top 5 Audience Picks

Hot Docs 2024

Special Mention, Colin Low Award for Best Canadian Director

DOXA Film Festival

Opening Night

Yorkton Film Festival

World Premiere

CPH:DOX in the DOX:AWARD International Main Competition

Winner

2021 Hot Docs Forum Best Canadian Pitch Prize

Credits

Writer / Director
Lisa Jackson

Producers
Lisa Jackson
Lauren Grant
Alicia Smith (NFB)

Executive Producers
Jennifer Baichwal
Nicholas de Pencier
David Christensen

Associate Producer
Brittany Ryan

Drama Cinematography
Justin Black

Documentary Cinematography
aAron Munson
Nick de Pencier CSC
John Price

Editor
David Schmidt

Co-Editors
Eui Yong Zong
Matthew Lyon