MÃ©tis filmmaker Danis Goulet’s new short film, Wapawekka, is part of the imagineNATIVE festival’s Thundering Whispers: Shorts Program II, and will screen Saturday October 23rd at 7pm. Though only 16 minutes long, it’s certainly long enough to make a lasting impression.
The film tells the story of young (late teens or early 20s) Josh, who goes up (rather unwillingly) to his family’s remote cabin with his father. While Josh spends much of his time smoking cigarettes and listening to hip hop tunes on his iPod, his traditional Cree father chops firewood, and does some fishing and hunting. There is very little conversation between the two men, so aside from a visit from the father’s friend to the cabin, most of the film is spent in silent awareness of the visual landscape, and the distance between father and son. Over the course of the cabin visit, Josh begins to pay more attention to his surroundings, clearly starting to appreciate and respect some of the history and traditions that came before him.
This lack of dialogue in the film actually adds to this sense of contemplation – and allows the viewer’s attention to linger on the absolutely gorgeous natural vistas. Truly, this short is one of the most visually stunning films I’ve seen in a long time. The lines are sharp and the colours bright. The lake water sparkles. Whether shooting in full sun, at a nighttime campfire, or in the orange twilight of evening, the scenes are beautifully done. They often look like paintings, except that the picture moves.
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