New Films for a New Year
It’s safe to say that 2020 was… a lot. But this month we’re shaking off the old and jumping into the new by highlighting some of the latest films to join our REEL CANADA catalogue.
ANTIGONE (109 min)
2019. Writer & Director: Sophie Deraspe.
In her last year of high school, straight-A student Antigone (Ricci) finds her life suddenly overturned when one of her brothers is murdered by a police officer, while the other is arrested. Having lived in Montreal since arriving as a refugee with her family over a decade ago, Antigone faces a terrible choice. She wants desperately to help her brother in prison, but doing so will not only put her promising future in jeopardy, but also her ability to stay in Canada. As her story becomes a media sensation, Antigone becomes a symbol for a movement of justice, as she makes a decision that will change her life forever. Despite being based on a tragedy over 2,000 years old, Antigone is an urgent and extremely timely story. It was the official Canadian submission for International Feature Film at the Oscars in 2019.
2019. Director: Travis Wood. Writer: Christian J. Cote.
Serge Ibaka, a newly crowned NBA Champion with the Toronto Raptors, journeys home to the Republic of Congo, with the NBA Championship trophy to inspire his community. He has an emotional homecoming in Brazzaville, where he grew up poor and sometimes homeless, having been left by himself after his mother’s death when he was 7 and his father’s imprisonment shortly thereafter. Despite these overwhelming obstacles, he achieved his dream of becoming an NBA Champion and becoming the first person to bring the trophy back to the Congo.
THE GREY FOX (47 min)
1982. Director: Phillip Borsos. Writer: John Hunter.
Often considered one of the all-time Canadian classics, and recently restored and re-released, The Grey Fox is a thrilling look at the first-ever train robbery, and tells the story of Bill Miner, one of Canada’s most notorious criminals. Based on the true story of William Miner (nicknamed the Gentleman Bandit), The Grey Fox won 4 Genie Awards including Best Picture and has been included on TIFF’s top 10 list of the Best Canadian Films of All Time.
MENTEUR (111 min)
2019. Writer & Director: Émile Gaudreault. Writer: Eric K. Boulianne.
The top-grossing Canadian film of 2019, Menteur tells the hilarious story of Simon, a compulsive liar who wakes up to discover that all of his ridiculous lies have actually come true, forcing him to confront his habit or face increasingly drastic consequences. While everyone around him seems to think this reality is normal, his brother knows the truth and convinces him that the only way that everything can get back to normal is for him to kick his habit for good.
RUSTIC ORACLE (101 min)
2019. Writer & Director: Sonia Boileau (Mohawk).
After a young woman disappears from a Mohawk community, her sister and mother lose faith in the police to solve the crime, and set out on a road trip to follow the leads and find her themselves. This poignant coming-of-age feature shines a spotlight on the urgent issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
NOW IS THE TIME (16 min)
2019. Director: Christopher Auchter.
In August 1969 the community of Old Massett gathered to raise a totem pole carved by Robert Davidson. It was the first new totem pole raised in Haida Gwaii in almost a century. Over 50 years later, Haida filmmaker Christopher Auchter remixes archival footage, new interviews and animation to reflect back on this important occasion.
I AM SKYLAR (15 min)
2019. Director: Rachel Bower.
An inspiring and honest look at the challenges facing a transgender teenager and how the love of her family and community allowed her to embrace her true self.
ICE BREAKERS (15 min)
2019. Director: Sandamini Rankaduwa.
A rising hockey star is introduced to the history of the Black hockey league in Atlantic Canada to inspire him to pursue his dreams in a sport where Black athletes like him remain underrepresented.
WOMAN DRESS (6 min)
2019. Director: Thirza Cuthand.
Using archival footage and dramatized re-enactments, Cuthand retells a story that has been passed down through many generations of the Cuthand family, about a Two Spirit person named Woman Dress.