We have been outspoken supporters of Jeff Barnaby in these parts for some time now, Barnaby's short film work convincing us that the aboriginal Canadian filmmaker is one of the most powerful and challenging voices of his generation. That support was borne out by his debut feature, Rhymes For Young Ghouls
, a gritty and harrowing tale set against the backdrop of Canada's residential schools - a system created as a sort of intentional cultural genocide carried out by the Canadian government against its native population by forcibly removing children from their homes to be 'civilized' by the white man's education in highly restrictive and very often wildly abusive boarding schools. The residential schools were a very real issue here up until surprisingly recently and the legal and moral issues around them remain a knot to be untangled with a host of cases before the courts where the government mostly seems interested in dragging things out as long as possible.
Here's how the Toronto International Film Festival describes the film:
Set against the backdrop of the residential schools tragedy -- when
thousands of Aboriginal children were separated from their families,
culture, and language -- his much-anticipated debut feature Rhymes for Young Ghouls
resembles an S.E. Hinton novel re-imagined as a surreal, righteously
furious thriller. At the tender age of 15, Aila (Kawennahere Devery
Jacobs) has taken over the drug business of her father Joseph (Glen
Gould) while he serves a stint in prison. Joseph's return signals an
abrupt end to Aila's reign as the reservation's drug queen; it also
piques the interest of Popper (Mark Antony Krupa), the reserve's corrupt
and sadistic Indian agent. The bloody tragedy that unfolds becomes an
angry and poetic howl for lost lives, lost opportunities and lost loved
ones -- a fever dream whose terrifying fictions are grounded in even more
having been named on of Canada's Top Ten films of 2013 by the TIFF folk and now gearing up for a theatrical release here in Canada ScreenAnarchy is very proud to present the first trailer and poster art for the film. Take a look below.
Toronto audiences will be able to catch Rhymes For Young Ghouls
at the Cineplex Yonge & Dundas starting January 31st.
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