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The Crack Magazine

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Wildhood

Director: Bretten Hannam

Stars: Philip Lewitski, Avery Winters-Anthony, Joshua Odjick Steve Lund, Michael Greyeyes

A troubled ‘two-spirit’ young Native American man explores his heritage and his sexuality in this handsome but flawed coming-of-age tale. A rather on-the-nose opening scene has Native American, Link (Lewitski) turning his back on his roots by dyeing his hair blonde. After discovering a birthday card from the Mi'kmaw mother he had presumed dead, Link flees his abusive father, taking his younger half-brother Travis (Winters-Anthony) with him. At an inhospitable convenience store the brothers meet powwow dancer Pasmay (Odjick). Pasmay is clearly attracted to Link and offers to give them a lift and later volunteers to help find their mother. Gradually, inevitably, a bond is formed as Link rediscovers his identity. Visually the picture is immaculate with the almost comically good-looking cast captured in sensuous, tactile close-ups, or shown gambolling through the bucolic idyll Terence Mallick-style. Otherwise there’s a nagging feeling that writer-producer-director Hannam may have taken on too much. The depiction of indigenous life adds a welcome new dimension, but the plotting is rote, the script pedestrian and the performances variable.

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