Tuesday, March 3 | 117 min
Myriam Verreault | 2019
Canada (Québec) | French, Innu (English subtitles)
Two girls grow up as best friends in an Innu community. While Mikuan has a loving family, Shaniss is picking up the pieces of her shattered childhood. As children, they promised each other to stick together no matter what. But as they're about to turn 17, their friendship is shaken when Mikuan falls for a white boy, and starts dreaming of leaving the reserve that's now too small for her dreams.
It’s rare to feel as connected to film characters as you will to Mikuan and Shaniss, and it’s rarer still to feel so attached that you’re sad to leave them. Kuessipan is quiet and mesmerizing and tragic and full of hope. It is a triumph, and a privilege to spend time with.
— The Globe and Mail
Kuessipan is a beautiful, un-sensationalized look at young womanhood, friendship and community. It’s a coming-of-age story that stands out from the pack for its soulfulness.
— Toronto International Film Festival
For Indigenous people, movies often focus on the difficulties of maintaining their traditions, injustices perpetrated by the government, the impact of residential schools, the disproportionate rates of addiction and suicide, and other “problems.” But they’re also just people with jobs, families, relationships, dreams and regular stories to tell. In Kuessipan, two young women from the same Quebec Innu community find they have less in common the older they become. (…) The actresses are excellent in portraying two women who are believable as friends, but also clearly no longer on the same wavelength. However, most notably, neither is willing to compromise their values to regain harmony in their friendship — instead, they have to learn to accept each other as they’ve become or learn to live without each other. The picture ends with not necessarily a solution, but a natural conclusion.
— Digital Journal
Mike Innu Papu McKenzie
Grand Prize, Québec City Film Festival (2019)
Best Canadian Movie, Windsor International Film Festival (2019)
Vancouver International Film Festival (2019)
Toronto International Film Festival (2019)