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Maliglutit (Searchers)

Canada 2016. Dir: Zacharias Kunuk. 94 min. DCP

Fifteen years ago, Zacharias Kunuk directed Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner, winner of the Caméra d’Or at Cannes and recently voted the top Canadian film of all time. In his latest feature, Kunuk and collaborator Natar Ungalaaq use the revenge plot of John Ford’s 1956 Western The Searchers as inspiration for the tale of an Inuk man and his band of maliglutit (“followers”) who set out across the barren Arctic in search of the marauders who have ransacked his home and kidnapped his wife. Like Ford’s film, Kunuk’s Searchers explores the repercussions of violence; unlike Ford, Kunuk questions the colonial ideology inherent to the Western and the possibility of justice in a seemingly unjust world. With a tale as timeless as the landscape in which it is set, Canada’s foremost Inuk filmmaker has provided us with another classic. – TIFF SATURDAY, JANUARY 14 – 6:30 PM

Old Stone

Canada/China 2016. Dir: Johnny Ma. 80 min. DCP

Johnny Ma’s impressive feature debut takes us on an unnerving trip through China’s social strata. For taxi driver Lao Shi (Chen Gang, extraordinary), every day is a fight for his family’s economic survival. One day, he accidentally hits a motorcyclist. When the ambulance takes too long to arrive, Lao drives the injured man to the hospital himself, only to discover that he’s now legally responsible for the medical bills. Plunged into a bureaucratic nightmare and faced with financial ruin, he is forced to embrace retribution as his only possible escape. Ma’s film begins as an observant social-realist drama and turns into a furious, bloody film noir. But even as Old Stone goes into full cinematic overdrive, it runs on an engine of humanism and empathy. Best Canadian First Feature Film, TIFF. – Magali Simard, TIFF SATURDAY, JANUARY 14 – 8:20 PM

Those Who Make Revolution Halfway Only Dig Their Own Graves (Ceux qui font les révolutions à moitié n’ont fait que se creuser un tombeau)  

loaded with incendiary rhetoric. Demanding and rigorous, it is somehow, simultaneously, absurdly funny and invigorating. It’s also divisive: some will find the revolutionaries sympathetic; others will be appalled. But few could legitimately disagree that Revolution – with its opening five minutes of black film leader, fake intermission, and stunning tableau scenes – is one of the most indelible and audacious works to emerge from Quebec and Canada in recent memory. – Steve Gravestock, TIFF SUNDAY, JANUARY 15 – 7:00 PM

Canada’s Top Ten Student Shorts 2016 Boys Will Be ● Teryl Brouillette, Ryerson University, ON. 19 min. Bumby the Barely-Witch ● Jessica Tai, Emily Carr University of Art + Design, BC. 3 min. Drifter ● Olivia Lindgren, Langara College, BC. 10 min. Feathers ● Sarah Kieley, Sheridan College, ON. 6 min. Island | Saari ● Ella Mikkola, University of Regina, SK. 6 min. Land of Nod ● Ivan Ramin Radnik, Humber College, ON. 16 min. Les Beiges ● Étienne Lacelle, Concordia University, QC. 11 min. My Invisible Mother ● Pascal Huynh, Concordia University, QC. 3 min. Nothing Grows Here ● Lauren Belanger, Ryerson University, ON. 16 min. This is Not an Animation | Ceci n’est pas une animation ● Federico Kempke, Sheridan College, ON. 5 min. Film synopses available at thecinematheque.ca TUESDAY, JANUARY 17 – 6:30 PM

Mean Dreams

Canada 2016. Dir: Nathan Morlando. 104 min. DCP

Nathan Morlando’s second feature more than delivers on the promise of his debut, Edwin Boyd – Citizen Gangster (Best Canadian First Feature, TIFF 2011). The life of teenaged Jonas (Josh Wiggins) is dominated by his father’s struggles with the family farm and his mother’s battle with depression. When Casey (Sophie Nélisse) moves in down the road, the two click immediately. They’re a good pair, but Jonas’s father sees Casey as a distraction, while Casey’s father, Wayne (Bill Paxton), an alcoholic policeman prone to explosive outbursts, sees Jonas as competition. With nowhere to turn, Jonas and Casey are faced with an impossible decision. Atmospherically shot by Steve Cosens, one of Canada’s finest cinematographers, and featuring excellent performances, Morlando’s film creates a sensitive portrait of the dilemmas facing young people trapped by circumstance and history. – Steve Gravestock, TIFF TUESDAY, JANUARY 17 – 8:25 PM

Canada 2016. Dirs: Mathieu Denis, Simon Lavoie. 183 min. DCP

Winner of TIFF’s Best Canadian Feature prize, Those Who Make Revolution… was inspired by directors Denis and Lavoie’s speculations about Quebec’s massive 2012 student demonstrations, and what might have happened had the fervour not dissipated. A study of youth and political dogma, the film, in which four largely middleclass radicals hole up in a dingy bungalow and plot violent revolution, is like an agitprop fire sale,

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The Cinematheque JAN + FEB 2017