Portraits From a Fire
Possessing more determination than discernible talent, teenage Tyler (William Magnus Lulua) routinely premieres his lo-fi DIY films on his reservation for a smattering of viewers who struggle to stay awake. Undaunted, he retains his belief that he and his films are bound for bigger things. At the very least, they can be a bigger draw than bingo. Just as his new friend Aaron (Asivak Koostachin) practically manifests from the ether to provide him with some welcome encouragement, a DV tape resurfaces that casts new light on his family’s history and may just provide answers to questions that he’s long harboured.
Returning to the Tl’etinqox Reserve where he grew up, Trevor Mack has delivered an accomplished, open-hearted first feature both made about and in collaboration with his community. Mingling authenticity and invention, Mack employs recurring formal flourishes to illustrate the porousness of the membrane separating past and present. As Tyler abandons escapism in favour of unearthing difficult truths, Mack testifies that where there is trauma, there is likewise the opportunity for healing.
Nathaniel Arcand, Wiliam Magnus Lulua, Asivak Koostachin, Sammy Stump, Pauline Bob-King, Melanie Bobby
Please note this film can only be viewed in Canada when streaming on VIFF Connect.
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Raised in the Tŝilhqot’in community of Tl’etinqox, Trevor Mack’s foundation in film work is based on the nourishment of the next generations of the Tŝilhqot’in Nation. His fictional and documentary film projects range from intimate personal portraits of his family’s history to nation-bridging panoramas that the Tŝilhqot’in National Government include in their ongoing negotiations over hunting, fishing, and land rights with the Province of British Columbia and Government of Canada.