Thirza Cuthand

Medicine and Magic
Canada 2020

2-channel video installation, 5 min. English.

The two videos in Medicine and Magic work together to try and bridge these two stories from my maternal grandparents’ family histories. I’ve been raised with stories of the medicine men in my family. A bundle that was used successfully to heal people. Stories of bear spirits that took care of us. I don’t know about my Scottish side as much, but I did know some of the last names of my ancestors over there. There was one case with a last name and a location close to my great grandmother’s hometown that made me pause. It was a white magic case, protecting cattle, and talking with fairies. Relatively benign things. But she was executed for it. I feel like these videos unearth some of this history and my hope is that they lead people to draw their own conclusions about spiritual, magical, medicinal histories. (Thirza Cuthand)

Thirza Cuthand was born in 1978 in Regina, Canada. Since 1995 she has been making short experimental narrative videos and films about sexuality, madness, queer identity and love, and Indigeneity, which have screened in festivals and galleries internationally. She completed her BFA majoring in Film and Video at Emily Carr University of Art and Design in 2005, and her MA in Media Production at Ryerson University in 2015. She has also written three feature screenplays and has performed. She is of Plains Cree and Scots descent, a member of Little Pine First Nation, and currently resides in Toronto.

Production Thirza Cuthand. Production company Fit of Pique Productions (Toronto, Canada). Written and directed by Thirza Cuthand. Cinematography Various. Editing Thirza Cuthand. Sound design Thirza Cuthand. Sound Thirza Cuthand. Executive producer Thirza Cuthand.


1995: Lessons in Baby Dyke Theory (3 min.). 1996: My Sister (with Danielle Ratzlaff, 5 min.), Colonization: The Second Coming (3 min.). 1997: Working Baby Dyke Theory (5 min.), Bisexual Wannabe (3 min.), Earth Flesh (1 min.). 1998: Untouchable (4 min.). 1999: Manipulation/Dictation (4 min.), Thirza Cuthand’s Through the Looking Glass (14 min.), Helpless Maiden Makes an “I” Statement (6 min.). 2001: Anhedonia (9 min.). 2004: Love & Numbers (8 min.). 2008: Madness in Four Actions (9 min.), You Are A Lesbian Vampire (3 min.). 2010: Homelands (53 min.). 2012: Sight (3 min.), Boi Oh Boi (9 min.). 2013: Just Dandy (7 min.). 2015: 2 Spirit Introductory Special $19.99 (4 min.). 2017: The Longform Lesbian Census (with Riki Yandt, 4 min.), 2 Spirit Dreamcatcher Dot Com (4 min.), Thirza Cuthand Is an Indian Within the Meaning of the Indian Act (8 min.). 2018: Reclamation (13 min.). 2019: Devout and Out: Susan (20 min.), Extractions (15 min.), WomanDress (5 min.), Less Lethal Fetishes (9 min.). 2020: NDN Survival Trilogy (37 min., Forum Expanded 2020). 2021: Medicine and Magic.

Photo: © Thirza Cuthand