Governmental abuse of First Nations people, especially the residential schools that were meant to destroy native culture though abusive assimilation, is an alarmingly recent reality that has been oft overlooked. The most known image of Indians lie in westerns, a romanticized image of the past that accommodates blissful ignorance of continuing realities. It takes independent work by contemporary indigenous artists to show the ugly truths the mainstream media tries to avoid. Jeff Barnaby’s Rhymes for Young Ghouls is an acclaimed Canadian film set in 1975 about Alia, a teenage Mi’kmaq girl who takes over her father’s drug dealing business after he is imprisoned. When her father returns, she catches the attention of a sadistic government agent. Alia is a dark, gritty rez hero with fierce power and a thirst for revenge. The film’s poetic surrealism illustrates the raw beauty of an empowered indigenous voice.
Rhymes for Young Ghouls is coming to U.S. in select theaters on October 24th.
Director: Jeff Barnaby
Cinematography: Michel St. Martin
Writer: Jeff Barnaby
Producer: Aisling Chin-yee and John Christou
Stars: Kwennahere Devery Jacobs, Glen Gould, Brandon Oakes and Mark Antony Krupa