Through Black Spruce (2019)

Through Black Spruce left me with me so many questions. What was the point? Why were three parallel stories going on at the same time? Is this movie about the lack of resources in Indigenous communities in the north or the lack of respect they get when they come into the major cities of the country? Is the story about family fall out when people go missing? Was this a movie about the drug problems in small communities? Why did the story pick up randomly in the middle of the drama and leave you wondering what happens next as the screen fades to black? What I thought was interesting and not really touched upon is if you kill the drug dealers, you have to have the sense that people are going to come and replace those guys eventually. So you got to think the threats are never really gone. Maybe this was a movie about finding yourself and/or coming to peace with your inner demons. I can’t honestly say.

What I really liked about Through Black Spruce was it was made in Canada and didn’t feel like the blockbuster movies we’ve all come to know. You probably haven’t even heard of this movie until you clicked on the review, let alone anyone who starred in it. Besides the fact I didn’t fully comprehend what the whole point of it was, I did appreciate the efforts by the writers and the actors to give me an honest film. This was an original idea brought to the big screen. It felt real and authentic. The situations weren’t glorified for our entertainment. The camera followed the leads around and tried to tell everything from their perspective, there was no CGI to keep the story alive.

I would believe this movie made it through the Canadian circuit of festivals and was given a wide release in Cineplex theatres across the country. I doubt this film would be released internationally, but you just never know. It does stay true to Canadian customs and culture, but won’t be the best story about Canadian Indigenous people and their problems. 4/10

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