Review: ‘Portraits From A Fire’ comes of age through filmmaking

There are many fundamental truths in this world, and one of them is that creative people will create. Tyler (William Magnus Lulua), a boy growing up on northern BC’s Tsilhqotʼin reserve, makes films. He borrows household items from the community to use as props and screens them in a makeshift open-air cinema. When his latest film is only attended by a handful of people, many of whom then leave to go to bingo night, Tyler decides he needs to make something more personal.

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VIFF Review: ‘Monkey Beach’ offers gorgeous looks at both scenery and culture

Monkey Beach

Monkey Beach is an important Canadian novel. Winner of the Ethel Wilson Prize, it tells the story of a young Haisla woman who returns home to Kitamaat after her brother goes missing under mysterious circumstances. Upon her return, she begins to unravel her own past and examine her ancestral supernatural powers to communicate with spirits and the dead.

This premise is ripe for adaptation, and the only surprising thing is that it hasn’t happened sooner. That it has happened now –with an all First Nations cast and a First Nations director– is for the better, though.

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