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.