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The Grizzlies (2020)

The Grizzlies (2020)

An uplifting sports drama set in a remote Indigenous community

7.4

Movie

Canada
English, Inuktitut
Drama
2019
FEMALE DIRECTOR, MIRANDA DE PENCIER
Anna Lambe, Ben Schnetzer, Booboo Stewart
106 min

What it's about

In a small Arctic town struggling with the highest suicide rate in North America, a group of Inuit students' lives are transformed when they are introduced to the sport of lacrosse.

The take

This uplifting Canadian sports drama is based on a true story set in the remote Nunavut town of Kugluktuk. The small community has the highest teen suicide rate in North America, as it suffers from intergenerational trauma, and the resulting alcohol and drug abuse. A new young history teacher who is sent by the government is shocked by the state of the school and the lives of the teenagers. He realizes that he can't engage the kids with history, and turns to his passion for Lacrosse to try to ignite change.

The teacher and director of the movie are both white, which, added to the story, raise red flags about white savior tropes. But thanks to First Nation producers who made sure the kids had time to develop their characters, The Grizzlies narrowly misses disaster. Instead, it gives a voice to communities that are rarely heard from. 

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