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Film Review: ‘Through Black Spruce’

Film Review: ‘Through Black Spruce’

Future scholars of the Cultural Appropriation Wars of the late 2010s are going to find a lot to talk about with Don McKellar’s “Through Black Spruce,” a film produced by a Cree woman (Tina Keeper) and directed by a white Canadian man that deals explicitly with sexism and Indigenous issues, and is based on a book by novelist Joseph Boyden whose own First Nations identity has recently come under dispute. More casual viewers, however, are going to wonder where all that offscreen drama went, and how it can possibly have translated into such low-blood-sugar lethargy. Ostensibly a First Nations riff on the perennially popular missing-girl genre, “Through Black Spruce” is a disengaged slog that confines its poetry to a title that nonetheless remains appropriate in one key way: The film creaks like it’s made of wood.

The cast, however, appropriately featuring indigenous actors playing the indigenous roles, is not to blame.

See full article on Variety