Tom Wilson is known for his bands Junkhouse and Blackie and the Rodeo Kings.
Premiering on Monday, October 31 at 9 pm ET on TVO — with streaming available now via TVO Today, the TVO Today mobile app and smart TV services — TVO Original Beautiful Scars follows Wilson on a journey of self-discovery that reveals a secret his parents took to their grave: He was adopted as a child and his birth family is Mohawk.
“Making this movie was a transformative and revitalizing experience for my mother and I,” says musician and visual artist, Tom Wilson. “It freed whatever old ghosts that were hanging around our attics and stirred up the sludge at the bottom of our lakes. My mother and I were victims of a heartless colonial system but in the end we won.”
“Beautiful Scars will captivate viewers with the way it peels back the layers of a complicated, charismatic songwriter,” says John Ferri, VP of Programming and Content at TVO. “Tom Wilson’s quest for his personal truth and place in the world is both heartrending and humorous, which is a credit to his talents as a storyteller.”
Written and directed by Shane Belcourt and produced by Corey Russell (Cream Productions), TVO Original Beautiful Scars brings us close to Wilson as he seeks out the truth and grapples with new knowledge about himself. Viewers everywhere will be touched by his need to learn about his birth family and his place among the Mohawk community.
“Tom is a fearless artist that courageously wears his heart on his sleeve, and for us, he puts it on the screen,” says Belcourt. “And as we spoke about from the beginning, his reclamation journey isn’t about putting on an Indigenous costume. This is ultimately a story about taking the costume off and revealing Tehoh’ahake (Two Roads), his Mohawk name.”
“With Shane at the helm and our incredible access to Tom, who’s a naturally gifted storyteller, we tell a layered, nuanced story,” says Russell. “Beautiful Scars is Tom’s painstakingly told journey about the scars that both hurt us and make us who we are.”
Wilson’s celebrated music career and his personal challenges are on display throughout the film, illustrating the depths of his self-destructive tendencies he has wrestled with over the years. After the breakdown of his own family, Wilson confronts his unhappiness in life and discovers the long-held secret of his adoption. The revelation leads to a visit to Kahnawake Mohawk Territory, home of his birth family and ancestors. Tom learns about his parents, why his birth mother gave him up and how she managed to stay in his life as a “cousin.”
Watch the premiere of TVO Original Beautiful Scars on Monday, October 31, 2022 at 9 pm ET on TVO, and stream it now on TVO Today, the TVO Today mobile app and smart TV services. Stream the documentary for free now on TVO Today.
A division of Cream Productions, Cream Films is managed by award-winning producer Corey Russell. In 2021, Cream Films co-produced, along with Paul Kemp, Nike’s Big Bet, which had its world premiere at the Hot Docs International Documentary Film Festival and went on to win the Canadian Screen Award for Best Sports Feature. They also produced All or Nothing: Toronto Maple Leafs for Amazon Studios and the NHL, which was released in October 2021. They are currently in production on a new documentary series for CNN+ to be released in early 2023.
Cream Productions is a premier production company with clients that include streaming giants Netflix and Amazon as well as leading networks such as CNN, Discovery, History and more. In 2021, the company has produced the recently released Netflix series Age of Samurai: Battle for Japan as well as History of the Sitcom and The Story of Late Night for CNN.
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