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film review

Until Branches Bend is the debut film from Canadian writer-director Sophie Jarvis.Courtesy of Photon Films

  • Until Branches Bend
  • Written and directed by Sophie Jarvis
  • Starring Grace Glowicki
  • Classification N/A; 98 minutes
  • Opens in select theatres March 20

Critic’s Pick

If recent history has taught us anything, it’s that the most pertinent warnings tend to be delivered quietly. At least, that’s the message behind Until Branches Bend, the haunting debut from Canadian writer-director Sophie Jarvis, who examines the pervasive nature of broken systems working to uphold toxic norms.

Set in B.C.’s Okanagan Valley, the film centres around a young cannery worker named Robin (Grace Glowicki) who discovers a mysterious beetle burrowed into a peach. After being ignored by her higher-ups, Robin takes her concern about the insect public, which raises the alarm for environmentalists, peach farmers and the community who relies on local peach farms to sustain their economy – all for varying reasons.

Over the course of the film, we’re faced with the horrifying consequences of maintaining the capitalist status quo, as Robin, the people around her and the environment itself pay the price for abuse of power at the hands of a few.

As deeply moving as it is upsetting, Until Branches Bend is an affecting drama that begs audiences to question their own social complacency. Glowicki delivers a devastating, commanding performance, forcing viewers to watch, wait and listen amidst building chaos. Like the insect itself, Jarvis’s efforts will root itself in your mind, and make it impossible to see things as they were before.

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