Urban Nation

A filmmaking partnership between Kent Monkman and Gisèle Gordon

  • contact

    • Box 343, Station B
    • Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    • M5T 2W2



The Tunguska Project

  • Directed and Produced by Gisèle Gordon
  • Associate Producer: Kent Monkman
  • 2005, 82:32, colour and B&W, Digital Beta
  • Distributed by Vtape


In this compelling portrait of an artist’s spiritual and artistic quest for meaning across cultures and times, Cree playwright Floyd Favel from northern Saskatchewan has become obsessed with the century-old mystery of the Tunguska explosion. Equivalent to over a thousand atomic bombs, it rocked the Tunguska region of central Siberia and its Indigenous Evenki inhabitants. Shockwaves were recorded all over the world, but its cause remains hotly debated by scientists worldwide.

Favel decides this will be the subject of his next play and sets out on a journey to the epicentre of the blast to ask Evenki elders and reindeer herders how they explain the explosion. This is no ordinary expedition. Even before Favel leaves home, enigmatic signs and portents make it clear that this voyage will be something far more than a research trip. What Favel experiences will reverberate through to his very soul. The closer he gets to the epicentre, the more his themes for the play unfold — full of pain for the loss of Indigenous cultures, increasingly autobiographical, and punctuated with whispered warnings and psychic struggle.

  • Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival 2005
  • Planet in Focus Film Festival 2005 (Best Canadian Feature Length Film)
  • American Indian Film Festival 2005 (nominated for Best Documentary)
  • Terres en Vues Festival 2005 (shortlisted for Best Documentary)
  • Sao Paulo International Film Festival 2005


Funded by Bravo! Canada, the Canada Council for the Arts, Telefilm Canada, The Canadian Television Fund, Rogers Documentary Fund, the Ontario Arts Council, the Canadian Independent Film and Video Fund, and IFC: Independent Film Channel Canada and the support of Evenkia Autonomous Area and the Canadian Embassy to the Russian Federation