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WILDHOOD

Bretten Hannam | 2021 | 99 MINS
Canada
Two brothers embark on a journey to find their birth mother after their abusive father had lied for years about her whereabouts; along the way, they reconnect with their indigenous heritage and make a new friend.

In Detail

Link (Phillip Lewitski), a Mi’kmaw two-spirit teenager finds out that his mother, who he had been made to believe was dead, is alive. Following an explosive outburst from his abusive father, Link embarks on a journey with his younger half-brother, Travis (Avery Winters-Anthony) to find her.

Not far into their travels, they come across Pasmay (Joshua Odjick), pow wow dancer and fellow Mi’kmaw teen, who lends a hand and ends up joining them. Pasmay, deeply connected to his lineage, tries to teach an initially reluctant Link some of the Mi’kmaq language. As their odyssey unfolds, they share tales of hardship and become closer as they embark further through Eastern Canada.

The more self-aware and connected Link becomes to his surroundings and his own sexuality the easier it is for him to cultivate a relationship with Pasmay, but after years of developing a mistrust for others, Link struggles to let his guard down completely. There is a sense of hopefulness to ‘Wildwood’ in Guy Godfree’s beautiful cinematography that encapsulates the rural Canadian landscape and in the uplifting soundtrack.

Even in the heavily explored road movie genre, Hannam is able to breathe fresh life into it, offering it up as a story of queerness, nature and homecoming. They have taken a simplistic narrative and made it substantial and meaningful.

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