The Grizzlies is a true story about the small town of Kugluktuk, Nunavut, which happened to have one of the highest suicide rates in all of North America. This film did not hold back on the truth, hence the graphic warning at the beginning, which meant it featured a handful of suicides.
The story is dark and truthful. Life is tough in the northern part of the country. Whether it the high cost of living or the lack of potential for a bright future we have all been accustomed to down here, The Grizzles hammers home every day struggles none of us ever really know about.
When a white school teacher takes a job in the north he is met with disregard at every turn. No one cares what he has to say or what he has to offer, he is not one of them. In an attempt to blend in and get the community more involved, he creates a high school lacrosse team. The only problem is, there aren’t enough kids, the best ones have personal demons and family obligations to meet and don’t play.
Through hard work, the team slowly came together and ended up travelling to Toronto for the National Championships. Of course, this situation was going to be a problem for the old folks and rejected by the youth. The story is filled with drama, frustration, and broken hearts. In a community known for its heartbreak, there are so many tears shed for those young souls who felt life was better in the afterlife.
The Grizzle will not be for everyone. Even if you think it is a great sports story, it isn’t. This movie is harsh and real. Everyone in the film is an actor, but they play broken souls. I was super excited for the movie and left rather disappointed. I felt “meh” after it all instead of excited. The biggest drawback for me is the message. I couldn’t figure out if this film was about suicide, troubles in the north, overcoming adversity. or mending old wounds through building a better community together. 4/10