It’s been four years since Renée (director Rhayne Vermette) turned her back on her Métis community and left her young daughter Athene in the care of her brother and sister-in-law. Consequently, when she returns with no immediate explanation for her disappearance, she finds herself branded an outsider and is left to drift through once-familiar landscapes that have seemingly grown abstract in her absence and navigate fraught reunions with intimates who’ve practically become strangers. Likewise, Renée finds herself wrestling with her own identity.
Casting several members of her family and capturing her home community in alluring 16mm compositions, Vermette, a Winnipeg-based artist, employs recurring painterly shots, experimental flourishes, and evocative collages to lend impressionistic invention to a tale of a prodigal that recalls Wim Wender’s Paris, Texas and other touchstones of the genre. A heady melange of personal details and singular sensibilities, this is a uniquely immersive, deeply meditative, and wholly cinematic expedition into family histories and myths.
Amplify Voices Award for Best Canadian Feature Film, TIFF 2021
Isabelle d'Eschambault, Dolorès Gosselin, Valerie Marion, Jack Theis, Roger Vermette
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Rhayne Vermette was born in Notre Dame de Lourdes, Manitoba. It was while studying architecture at the University of Manitoba, that she fell into the practices of image making and storytelling. Primarily self-taught, Rhayne’s films are opulent collages of fiction, animation, documentary, reenactments, and divine interruption. Ste. Anne is her first feature film.