With its 16mm cinematography lending it an uncanny air, Miryam Charles’ haunting nonfiction work examines the mysterious circumstances surrounding her teenage cousin’s death, while speculating on the life that this young woman might’ve led had she survived. “My story is both tragic and hopeful,” incants cousin Tessa (brought to life by Schelby Jean-Baptiste). Through the graces of Charles’ direction, her tale is also equal measures puzzle and poetry. Transporting us between New England, Haiti, and Montreal, This House allows a speculative future incarnation of Tessa to commune with her bereaved mother (Florence Blain Mbaye) and retrace her family’s immigration odyssey.
“I refuse reality and try to understand it through art,” professes Charles in her director’s statement for her first feature-length work. While abstraction and experimental techniques are undeniably key to this enigmatic piece, there’s also a sense of anguish that serves as its emotional core. It’s a lyrical yet potent reminder of violence’s capacity to rupture reality and shake the foundations of family.
Silvestre Award for Best Feature Film, IndieLisboa 2022
Q&A Oct 1 & Oct 5
Schelby Jean-Baptiste, Florence Blain Mbaye, Eve Duranceau, Matthew Rankin, Yardly Kavanagh
In French and Haitian Creole with English subtitles
Missing VIFF? Check out what’s playing at the VIFF Centre
Oscar® Shorts 2024: Animation
The best animated shorts of the year, according to the Academy... films from Iran, Israel, France and the USA. This program will also feature a handful of "best runners-up".
Big Fight in Little Chinatown
Set against the backdrop of the COVID pandemic and an unprecedented rise in anti-Asian racism, the documentary takes us into the lives of residents, businesses, and community organizers whose neighborhoods are facing active erasure.
Oscar® Shorts 2024: Live Action
This year's nominees for Best Live Action Short Films include a mini-masterpiece from Wes Anderson and French Canadian entry, Invincible.
The Invisible Fight
Fans of Black Sabbath, kung fu, and/or wacky comedy won't want to miss The Invisible Fight. This gonzo Estonian martial arts movie is an unholy cross between Aki Kaurismaki and Edgar Wright; a true one-off.
Manufacturing the Threat
Shining a light into the murky world of police infiltration, incitement, and agent provocateurs, Manufacturing The Threat shows how Canada’s policing and national security agencies, granted additional powers after 9/11, routinely break laws with little to no accountability or oversight.
The Price of Truth + Section 16 + Reception
The Price of Truth is the extraordinary story of a man who risks everything, to preserve freedom of speech in Russia. In Section 16, women journalists in South Africa who expose wrongdoing by those in power are often forced to endure deeply personal, frightening attacks on social media, as the four leading reporters interviewed disclose. KDocsFF 2024's closing reception.
Isabelle Stachtchenko, Miryam Charles
Georges Michael FanfanAnnick Marion
Miryam Charles is a Haitian-born director, producer, and cinematographer living in Montreal. She has produced several short and feature films, and directed several short films. Her films have been presented at various festivals in Quebec and internationally. This House, her feature film combining documentary and fiction elements, had its world premiere at the Berlinale this winter and won the Silvestre Award at the IndieLisboa.
Filmography: Mosaic (2017)