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The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open

The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open: Aila (Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, who also directed) has decided she doesn’t want to have children, and on the way back from a doctor visit in which she has an IUD implanted, she meets Sophie (Violet Nelson) who is in the rain, barefoot, fleeing an abusive boyfriend. Both are Indigenous Canadians, yet both live lives on opposite ends of the socioeconomic spectrum. The film, which was shot nearly in real-time, describes how Aila helps Sophie (and, to some extent, how Sophie helps Aila) as Aila tries to help Sophie navigate her situation. It is an interesting film that includes long takes and subtle yet intense and deep dialog. It raises a lot of questions about differences in worldviews and experiences of these two women who share an indigenous ancestry. The acting is very good, and I liked the mood of the film – you are always anticipating that something is going to happen, but you can’t tell whether it will be good or bad, and that anticipation drives the film. It is also nice to see a solid film with a female indigenous director. Thumbs up for a film that requires a fair amount of patience; it is primarily a dialog film that may not be among everyone’s tastes. (2019; 3.5 Stars)

About Gary Burkholder

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