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film review

Asivak Koostachin plays Dylan in Red Snow.Lily Pictures

  • Red Snow
  • Written and directed by Marie Clements
  • Starring Tantoo Cardinal and Asivak Koostachin
  • Classification 14A; 100 minutes


3.5 out of 4 stars

To put it most plainly, Red Snow is by no means an easy watch – but you won’t want to stop watching its actors or their performances at any point. Written, directed and co-produced by Marie Clements, the film centres around a young Gwich’in soldier named Dylan (Asivak Koostachin), who’s captured by the Taliban after being ambushed in Kandahar, Afghanistan. In the wake of his imprisonment, he recalls the pain of losing his Inuit cousin, Asana, years earlier, but his bond with the Pashtun family with whom he escapes begins to heal the pain that’s come to define him.

New movies this weekend, including spare and powerful First Cow, heartbreaking Red Snow and Netflix thriller Lost Girls

The story is much more complex than that. Ultimately, Red Snow is a compelling, beautiful and heartbreaking examination of the effects of personal and generational trauma, and an important look at what it means to forgive and understand. Shot in four languages (Gwich’in, Inuvialuktun, Pashto and English) and featuring the performances of Shafin Karmin, Mozhdah Jamalzadah, Tantoo Cardinal and Ishaan Vasdev, this film is one that demands all who watch it recognize the power of family, both blood and the one you choose.

Red Snow opens March 13 in Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver and Ottawa

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