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Directed by Bill Morrison

United States 2016 120 mins. In English

Like his elegant Decasia (2002) and The Great Flood (2012), Dawson City is a hypnotic mashup of narrative cinema filtered through Bill Morrison’s fascination with the history of decomposing nitrate celluloid. Fashioned mainly from a cache of old films found frozen and forgotten in the once booming gold-rust outpost in the Yukon, the story of the town and cinema history unfold through Morrison’s collage of otherworldly images. Set to a haunting score by Sigur Rós’s Alex Somers, we visit a time and place available only through an artist’s vision and the quirk of film distribution routes that dead-ended in Dawson. “In addition to being filled with as many twists and turns as a first-rate suspense thriller, Dawson City is packed with near-metaphysical intimations, both awe-inspiring and humbling… an instantaneously recognizable masterpiece.”—Glen Kenny, The New York Times.

Genres: Documentary



The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.