With nods to Malick and even Mark Twain, Wildhood explores heritage and sexual awakening through one boy's search for community, identity and love.
Director: Bretten Hannam
Cast includes: Steve Lund, Michael Greyeyes, Phillip Lewitski
108 mins / 2021 / Canada, some subtitles
In a rural east-coast trailer park, Link lives with his toxic father and younger half-brother Travis. When Link discovers his Mi'kmaw mother could still be alive, it lights a flame and they make a run for a better life. It’s a twofold voyage of discovery; exploring the Indigenous heritage that is his mother’s legacy, and at the same time there is a gay sexual awakening, courtesy of a smouldering, handsome Mi’kmaq boy Pasmay.
The original music in the film feels both fresh and familiar, easily shifting from plaintive classical guitar to energizing hip-hop. Guy Godfree’s gentle handheld cinematography never feels overly present, but underscores each frame with a subtle rhythm, cradling the characters in a graceful fluidity.
Director Hannam was ambitious to write the script in English and Mi’kmaw, and it casts a sacred sheen over Link’s connection with his culture, keeping some parts private. As the boys journey across Mi'kma'ki, Link finds community, identity and love in the land where he belongs.
"There is an open-heartedness and gentleness in it, and a sense of style and place that reaches back to Malick and arguably even Mark Twain" - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
"Wildhood is a beautiful testament to the power of authentic storytelling" - Indiewire
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