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film review

Two-spirit Mi’kmaw teenager Link (Phillip Lewitski) is just discovering his sexuality when his already volatile home life goes off the rails in Wildhood.Courtesy of Mongrel Media

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Wildhood

Written and directed by Bretten Hannam

Starring Phillip Lewitski, Avery Winters-Anthony and Michael Greyeyes

Classification N/A; 99 minutes

Opens in select Canadian theatres March 11

Critic’s Pick

At turns heartbreaking and reaffirming, Wildhood tells the story of Lincoln (Philip Lewitski), who goes by Link, and his journey to accept his Mi’kmaw heritage and his sexuality.

Brought up by an abusive father in a rural east-coast trailer park, Link at first disassociates with both his identities. But after another physical altercation with his father, he comes to learn that his Mi’kmaw mother might still be alive. Along with his younger half-brother, Travis (Avery Winters-Anthony), he sets out on a journey to find some answers and purpose. While on the run, Link and Travis meet Pasmay (Joshua Odjick), a pow wow dancer who’s running from demons of his own, and a bond forms between the trio.

Filmed in Nova Scotia and featuring both English and Mi’kmaw, Wildhood beautifully captures the landscape and its community as well as moments of humour, even as it treads some bleak spaces. Written, directed and produced by Bretten Hannam, and starring a mixed cast of established and amateur actors, including Mi’kmaw elder Becky Julian, Wildhood is a worthy addition to the growing canon of Indigenous film and TV works.

Joshua Odjick and Phillip Lewitski in Wildhood.RILEY SMITH PHOTOGRAPHER/Courtesy of Mongrel Media

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