The film will be presented alongside Cinépistolaire, episode 5, directed by Rhayne Vermette and Nour Ouayda.
The first image of the film, and one that recurs throughout, is of a sombre, expansive prairie sky at dusk. Eerie and painterly, as is the rest of the film’s exceptionally striking use of 16mm, the skies are only one of several ghostly elements at play in Ste. Anne’s oblique, impressionistic narrative. The central revenant is Renée (Vermette), who returns to her young daughter Athene — now living with Renée’s brother Modeste and his wife — after an unexplained absence of several years. With its profound sense of place and a dreamlike, collagist intensity (and echoes of Paris, Texas not too far off ), Ste. Anne confronts ideas of belonging, reclamation, and family with both intimacy and a near-hallucinatory pull toward visual abstraction. Commissioned by the Indigenous-led COUSIN Collective and shot over 14 months, the film is a family affair in more ways than one, featuring members of the filmmaker’s family and expanded Métis community. (Andréa Picard, TIFF)