TIFF Review: 'The Grizzlies' Tells A Tale Too Familiar Directed by Miranda de Pencier
Starring Booboo Stewart, Ben Schnetzer, Will Sasso, Emerald MacDonald
Published Sep 08, 2018While Canada is lacking in films that centre Indigenous communities, The Grizzlies is a story you've seen before. Russ, a young white man, goes to a small Arctic town to be a teacher in an Inuit community. Ill-equipped to relate to the kids he is teaching, he manages to win them over enough to start a lacrosse team, which in turn leads to students laying off alcohol and drug use, increased attendance, and becoming a family that work together and support each other.
Sound familiar? It's a well-worn storyline also played out in films like Freedom Writers and Dangerous Minds, both "based on a true story" as well.
The Grizzlies seems to have all the pieces in place to be a compelling narrative — stunning cinematography of the north, a killer soundtrack, and a cast of skilled actors playing complicated characters. But like so many Canadian stories about Indigenous communities, it fails to actually place Indigenous voices at the centre.