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A Winter Tale (2007)

 -  Drama  -  11 April 2007 (Canada)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 89 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 5 critic

Shots ring out one winter night, and a bullet meant for a local dealer kills a child. In the aftermath of shock, Gene, a 40 something social worker starts a Black men's support group, at the local Caribbean Takeaway Restaurant.

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(idea), (additional dialogue), 16 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Williams ...
Gene Wright
...
Miss G
Michael Miller ...
DX
Dennis Hall ...
Professa
P. Barrington ...
Clip
R.O. Glasgow ...
Lloyd Parker
Sabio Emerencia Collins ...
Andrew
Onyekachi Ejim ...
Sam (as Lucky Ejim)
Peter Bailey ...
Ian
Ryan Ishmael ...
Sibeka
Mike G. Yohannes ...
Mickey
Valerie Buhagiar ...
Elaine
Finlandia Casellas ...
Rain
...
Julie Azzopardi
Shakura S'Aida ...
Charmaine
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Storyline

In Frances-Anne Solomon's elegiac "A Winter Tale", six Black men, all patrons at Miss G's Caribbean TakeAway Restaurant, form an ill-fated support group in an attempt to salvage their broken spirits and besieged community, following the local shooting death of a young child. A Winter Tale is set against the backdrop of a multicultural community's unrealized hopes and dreams. Bitter and tragic, funny and hopeful, the film tells a uniquely Canadian story that features Toronto as a central character Written by Frances-Anne Solomon

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The bullet that shattered a community.

Genres:

Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

11 April 2007 (Canada)  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

CAD 750,000 (estimated)
 »

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User Reviews

 
An intense snow globe of a movie
28 November 2007 | by (Trinidad and Tobago) – See all my reviews

'A Winter Tale' reminded me of a snow globe. Not only because it happens in winter (hence snow) and not only because the world of this small black Toronto community gets shaken (as snow globes do) by the accidental shooting death of a young child ... but also because of the closeness and intimacy of everything. The feeling was of being invited into a small space (like a snow globe) to meet these characters, experienced with an emotional and visual closeness (e.g. many close up shots of their eyes, faces, mouths) which pressed them and their lives against me as a viewer. How could we all fit into this small globe without becoming more intimately involved (visually and emotionally) or without feeling some kind of intensity?

Gene, one of the main characters (a social worker), forms a male support group, which addresses the need for 'dialogue' among the men of the community. In contrast, there are points in the film where there is no dialogue ... where what is not said speaks as loudly as (louder than?) what is or could be. This absence (of dialogue) stood out for me for two scenes in particular: (i) after the shooting of the boy, one of the men returns to the eatery to tell the grandfather that his grandson is dead. This is done so wordlessly and powerfully that in the moment I was aware of the power of silence (absence of words). Anything voiced at that point would have ruined it. (ii) Gene (social worker) crying in bed after the shooting of the boy, his wife's long, white arm reaching out to touch his turned back. He eventually turns to her, still crying, and there is an overhead shot of their naked interracial bodies intertwined. Sensual. Maternal. Come to think of it, the men in the film often come across as boys, particularly when in the presence of the women in their lives (whether wife, girlfriend or mother). They seemed to be reflections of that little boy who got shot: just as vulnerable - both emotionally and in the sense of being potential victims of gun violence themselves.

I enjoyed the film's textures, camera work and editing. At times I found myself thinking that I could have been looking at a painting - particularly in the scenes that showed the city of Toronto. I saw it in a blurred, abstract, almost surreal way - in contrast with the realness of the life of the main characters. The close up red of a street car passing was like a paintbrush with red paint on it, streaking across the screen. The silhouetted CN tower against a golden watercolour blur of sky. A quick, haunting glimpse of a black brush-stroked female figure standing alone on a snowy sidewalk. Blurry memories of childhood. At points the editing, angles and distance of the shots worked together to make me feel as though I was seeing this urban painting through the window of a passing train: quick snippets. Not much of the city had to be shown to depict it. Like a few simple Japanese brush strokes creating the whole picture.

The soundtrack was there throughout, supporting and driving, but never standing above. The only point where I consciously became aware of it and found myself listening to what the music was 'made up' of was a looped instrumental part just before the little boy gets shot. I remember listening to it and being aware of the silence and spacing between the notes enhancing the tension of 'something about to happen'.


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