Shana is a very talented musician. She lives with her father in a First Nations village in Canada. In the past she was a happy girl who, together with her mother, played violins joyfully at celebrations. But two years ago, her mother went into the forest and never came back. Shana feels lonely and abandoned and the fact that her father tries to drown his sorrow in alcohol does not make it easier for her: Shana is retreating more and more into her own world. She stops going to school and hardly ever plays her violin any more. Hoping that she will somehow receive a sign from her mother, she writes heart-rending notes to her and hangs them in a special ancestor tree, which is decorated with amulets. A white wolf watches her from a distance whenever she comes to the tree. It seems to be magically drawn to her, appearing from the forest whenever she plays her violin.
After a long break, Shana's village get a new teacher, Lela Woodland. Lela is also of indigenous origins. She knows the particular situation of present-day First Nations from her own personal experience, knows how to inspire the students and tries with sensitivity and perseverance to draw Shana out of her state of withdrawal. When she hears Shana play the violin she is convinced that she has discovered great talent and registers her at the music school in Vancouver.
But a few days before the entrance exam, Shana's father sells the antique wolf's head violin, which had previously belonged to Shana's mother. Now Shana has only one alternative. She must retrieve this memento that is so important to her. During her adventurous search, Shana plunges deeper and deeper into the forest. For three days and nights she disappears into free Nature. There she encounters the white wolf and the spirits of her ancestors. Somewhere between trance and dream, Shana finds her way to a magic method of playing the violin that prepares her for encountering the wide world.
The First Nations girl Shana is a very gifted musician. But to bring her violin to sing, she must follow the wolf. Nino Jacusso has filmed this captivating coming-of-age drama with sensational beauty and spiritual tenderness.
A First Nations girl, a wolf and a violin – and the magic of music.