Wildhood review – heartfelt essay on Indigenous identity and emerging sexuality | Movies

BRetten Hannam’s Road-Trip Quest is an essay on Indigenous and queer identities set among the Mi’kmaw of Nova Scotia: it’s an occasionally godly film with rather ostentatiously beautiful imagery including violent transitions from l The plot in the opening act is a bit strained. Yet there’s an openness and a sweetness to it, and a sense of style and place that goes back to Malick and arguably even Mark Twain.

Link (Phillip Lewitski) and his younger half-brother Travis (Avery Winters-Anthony) live with their brutal and abusive white father: mixed-race Link has dyed his hair blonde, obviously in a confused attempt to deny his ancestry. He’s always been told his Native American mother is dead, but when he finds out she may still be alive – from a hidden, unopened birthday card – Link angrily torches his father’s truck. and runs away with Travis on a mission to find his mom no matter what.

The two boys are soon out of their depth on the road and on the run: luckily for them, they meet a good-natured Mi’kmaw boy named Pasmay (Joshua Odjick) with a car, who shows them how to survive and soon has clear feelings for Link. Pasmay and Link’s romance is mediated by the presence of Travis’ younger brother: they are in fact rarely alone together without Travis following them imperturbably and his devious, knowing but fundamentally loving relationship with Link means that the love story involves all three. .

Perhaps there is a kind of sanctity in the film which is sometimes difficult to take in, but it is an accomplished work, wonderfully shot.

Wildhood hits cinemas and digital platforms in the UK on September 2, and is streaming on SBS on Demand in Australia.

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