FIRECRACKERS
2018, 93 min, Canada, Dir: Jasmin Mozaffari

In this remarkable debut from writer-director Jasmin Mozaffari, best friends Lou (Michaela Kurimsky) and Chantal (Karena Evans) dream of abandoning their dreary small town in search of greater opportunity in a big city far away. What stands in their way is Chantal's abusive ex-boyfriend, whose shocking actions incite the girls' need to rebel and exact revenge. But in this male-dominated environment, such revenge comes at a great price. Inspired by traumatic experiences in Mozaffari's youth, FIRECRACKERS is an authentic story of female empowerment, told through a refreshingly unique stylistic approach. "FIRECRACKERS is not nearly as casually joyful as its title suggests, but it is absolutely as incendiary." - Barry Hertz, Globe and Mail.


THROUGH BLACK SPRUCE
2018, 111 min, Canada, Dir: Don McKellar

This adaptation of Joseph Boyden's 2008 novel of the same name follows a Cree family's traumatic upheaval after the disappearance of a relative in Toronto. Told in a series of flashbacks through the eyes of both her twin sister, Annie (Tanaya Beatty), and her uncle Bill (Brandon Oakes), who is mysteriously in a coma as the story begins, the film recounts the family's year-long reckoning with Suzanne's sudden absence from the tight-knit community in Moosonee, Ontario. Equal parts a slow-burn mystery and a surreal family drama, THROUGH BLACK SPRUCE is a thoughtful exploration of indigenous culture in Northern Ontario.


THE FIREFLIES ARE GONE
LA DISPARITION DES LUCIOLES
2018, 96 min, Canada, Dir: Sébastien Pilote

As her high school graduation approaches, high-spirited 18-year-old Léo (Karelle Tremblay) can’t wait to get out of her drab small town in Quebec’s hinterland. Tired of her mother’s nagging, her stepfather’s relentless and reactionary right-wing opinions and her absent father, Léo is restless, alienated and bored. That frustration changes, however, when she meets Steve (Pierre-Luc Brillant), a quietly charismatic 30-something guitar teacher who still lives in his mother’s basement. Taking guitar lessons from Steve proves to be a catalyst for change in Léo, and their unlikely friendship will transform both forever. Winner of Best Canadian Feature Film at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival. In French with English subtitles.


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