Clement Virgo (The Book of Negroes) makes a brilliant return to feature filmmaking with this propulsive adaptation of David Chariandy’s celebrated novel. Set against the backdrop of suburban Scarborough, Brother follows siblings Michael (Lamar Johnson) and Francis (Aaron Pierre) as they strive to justify the sacrifices of their devoting mother (Marsha Stephanie Blake) and realise their own ambitions: for Francis, that’s a career in hip-hop; for Michael, it’s the love of Aisha (Kiana Madeira). However, fates has other plans for this pair and all those they hold dear.
While maintaining the precision of Chariandy’s prose, Virgo’s film is a wholly cinematic and remarkably sensorial work. Skipping between past and present to explore masculinity, race, and family, Virgo’s direction is elegant in its handling of evolving character dynamics and authoritative in ensuring that instances of brutality possess harrowing verisimilitude. While detailing the devastating repercussions of senseless acts of violence, Brother also distinguishes itself with its powerful depictions of the healing process.
Q&A Oct 1
Lamar Johnson, Aaron Pierre, Kiana Madeira, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Lovell Adams-Gray, Maurice Dean Wint
Racial Discrimination, Coarse Language, Sexually Suggestive Scenes
Open to youth at Vancouver Playhouse
At The Rio
Tuesday October 04
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Crystal Pite: Angels' Atlas
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Boy From Heaven
Adam, a young man studying at a leading religious institution in Egypt, becomes a pawn in the struggle between government spies and radical religious leaders. A shrewdly plotted thriller with a superbly expressive performance from Tawfeek Barhom.
In Mashhad, Iran, a serial killer known as The Spider has murdered over a dozen women. Rahimi, a journalist obsessed with finding the killer, soon finds a skewed social morality that praises the perpetrator and condemns his victims.
Aaron L. Gilbert, Steven Thibault, Laurie May, Noah Segal
Damon D’Oliveira, Aeschylus Poulos, Sonya Di Rienzo, Clement Virgo
Clement Virgo is one of Canada’s foremost film directors. His first feature film, Rude (1995), premiered at Cannes’ Un Certain Regard section, and was included at the 2019 Locarno Film Festival’s Black Light Retrospective of significant 20th century Black cinema. Virgo’s other features include Lie With Me (2005) and Poor Boy’s Game (2007).
Known for his unique POV as a Black filmmaker, he has brought his cinematic approach to TV dramas including The Wire, Monster, and Billions. Virgo’s adaptation of Lawrence Hill’s The Book Of Negroes was nominated for two Critics Choice Awards and a Peabody Award.
Filmography: Rude (1995); Love Come Down (2000); Lie With Me (2005); Poor Boy’s Game (2007)