Directed by Adam Garnet Jones
Shane, a gay Anishnabe teenager in Northern Ontario, is struggling to support his family in the aftermath of his sister's suicide. If he fails, he will be forced to choose between his family's home and his own future.
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★★★★ review by Cabby on Letterboxd
A rough but candid portrayal of the struggles faced by First Nation people. This film offers a slightly different perspective as we follow the difficulties facing a two-spirited teenager as they try to decide what their future can be.
I'm not indigenous, so the often harsh and bleak truth presented wasn't as immediate to me as others in the audience. Seeing the film in Aotearoa / New Zealand was a special treat as the conversations that followed around Māori and Pasifika perspectives on similar issues, and the connection that can be made between indigenous people around the world through sharing stories was wonderful.
Not the slickest production and not a comfortable one but ultimately one about resilience and survival. These stories and perspectives are rare so taking the time to see this film would be of great value to everyone.
★★★½ review by MaryAnn Johanson on Letterboxd
A sensitive portrait, but often a wretched one, of young people at crossroads, set on a Canadian First Nations reservation but with resonance far beyond.
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★★★★ review by Anglor B on Letterboxd
An engaging and touching story. I believed that it was an honest portrayal of the lived experience of many people. I haven't seen a movie like it before and it presented a world I wasn't familiar with in a clear and caring way. For all of the sadness and emptiness I think the ending was respectful of the characters' journies.
★★★★ review by Chris Campbell on Letterboxd
The opening shots quietly and confidently establish the setting of the film which is a First Nations community in Ontario. The characters then appear and they are in mourning for a sister, daughter, and friend lost to suicide. A confident debut feature from Adam Garnet Smith, Fire Song tells the story of a closeted Anishnabe teenager who wants to get out of Northern Ontario to move to the city. But he has to support his family all while struggling with who he is in the community. Shot on location with a naturalistic style and some great low-light photography, it's a powerful story from a new voice in Canadian cinema.
★★★½ review by mike on Letterboxd
Adam Garnet Jones debut feature 'Fire Song' deals with First Nation two-spirited (gay) teenagers wrestling with whether to leave the harsh lives of their reserve for the big city. At times Fire Song plays like a TV drama from the public broadcaster, sometimes the dialogues feel forced and the actings need works. But the sad but all too common events of lives on a reserve; suicide, poverty and violence are on full display with no sugarcoat. Jones effort to bring the cruel reality of our First Nation onto the big screen should be applauded.
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