Writer-Director: Roz Owen
I am always interested in stories about families. Everyone, the actors, the crew were drawn to this film because they felt it was an important story. I was so fortunate be able to work with such extraordinary actors and passionate crew. We shot the film hand held to keep the camera human and shot many of the scenes at night to build the unfolding mystery.
Trouble in the Garden the Film was inspired by a member of my immediate family who was scooped as a baby, as were all her siblings. Adoption is difficult at the best of times. Forced adoption is a whole other level of trauma. The 60’s scoop was a social experiment that went wrong for most everyone involved Until recently it has been one of settler Canada’s well-kept secrets.
About the Film
Canada has taken far too long to reckon with its horrific legacy of mistreatment towards Indigenous peoples, particularly within our screen industry. So on a certain level, it’s important to see a film like Trouble in the Garden come along, which attempts to grapple with some of our unpleasant history – in this case, the Sixties Scoop, which saw thousands of Indigenous children taken from their families and placed with white foster parents between the 1950s and 1980s.
The central character here, Raven (Cara Gee), is one of these children. Now grown up and estranged from her foster family, she is an Indigenous activist protesting the treaty land rights in a Northern Ontario town, where a real-estate developer wants to build new luxury homes. When she’s arrested, her foster brother, Colin (Jon Cor), reappears out of nowhere to bail her out, although she has to stay with him and his family under house arrest until her court date. As she bonds with his wife and young daughter, Raven also has to deal with the fact that Colin happens to be the real estate agent selling the homes on the land she’s protesting.