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TIFF 2022 Reviews: Bones of Crows, The Wearing Jar

courtesy of TIFF

crows bones

Inspired by real facts, Mary Clement‘ second fiction feature film, crows bonesfollows Aline (played at different ages by summer testawich, grace doveand Carla Rae), an Indigenous woman born in the 1920s who is viciously torn from her loving family by the Canadian government as part of the residential school system. There, she and her siblings are kept in a constant state of malnutrition and suffering at the hands of the nuns and priests who run the school, a place meant to strip them of all culture and language. As Aline would later say, the only thing they learned was “an education in relentless cruelty”.

Later in life, Aline enlisted in the Canadian Army, where during World War II, she was actually valued for her command of the scream. But while Aline may later have a family and a home, the trauma of her past reverberates through her life, and she becomes perpetually worried that any joy she hoards will be taken away from her, as will all that was good in her life. life was too. a kid.

crows bones tells an absolutely essential story, something that as a Canadian I can tell you they don’t teach you in school, where we’re fed silenced versions of our own history. It’s not easy to watch, and it shouldn’t be. Clements very accurately shows the horrors of oppression in this country. Yet essential as it is, the film’s non-linear storytelling doesn’t flow as well as it should, and a subplot involving Aline’s sister is underdeveloped.

crows bones is due out in an expanded 5-part miniseries next year and with everything this movie has to (and should) convey, I think the long-form will suit it much better.

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Courtesy of TIFF

The oath jar

The sequel to the 2014 festival favorite Wet buttocksdirector lindsay mackay take us The oath jara film that tells the story of Carey and Simon, a married couple navigating the early stages of pregnancy. On the surface, the pair share an affable and cheerful relationship full of quick wit and jokes. But sometimes it’s the things left unsaid that shock us the most. It’s not the swear words, it’s the secrets.

The Swearing Jar has one of the best opening sequences I’ve seen in a while – it’s surprising and hilarious, at least if you’re a fan of swear words. In fact, the script of Kate Hewlett really weaves great moments of laughter into some of the film’s most serious scenes. The cast, including Adelaide Clemens (Rectify), Patrick J. Adams (Combinations), Douglas Smith (Big little lies, the alienist) and legend Kathleen Turner seems game enough to play humor in though it’s no surprise that Turner can still steal a scene.

Mackay uses a unique approach to narrative storytelling here. It’s hard to go into detail without significant spoilers, but there’s mystery and intrigue to unravel in this storyline and it’s pretty well done. At least for the first two acts of this film. I was absolutely enthralled and loved this film – a firm 4/5 rating – but once it got to the final act, it unfortunately became long, too long and pointless. The method of storytelling that until then was so clever, only brings out one last remarkable detail for so long that it creates great frustration. It’s an unfortunate final act that ultimately results in such a wonderfully promising film.

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Rodney N.

The author Rodney N.