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Rhymes for Young Ghouls (2013)

R  |   |  Drama  |  31 May 2014 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 275 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 21 critic

Red Crow Mi'g Maq reservation, 1976: By government decree, every Indian child under the age of 16 must attend residential school. In the kingdom of the Crow, that meansimprisonment at St. Dymphna's. That means being at the mercy of "Popper", the sadistic Indian agent who runs the school.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Aila (as Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs)
...
Joseph
Brandon Oakes ...
Burner
...
Anna
...
Popper
Cody Bird ...
Sholo
Nathan Alexis ...
Angus
Kenneth D'Ailleboust ...
Maytag
Kent McQuaid ...
Milch
Katherine Sorbey ...
Ceres
Miika Bryce Whiskeyjack ...
Young Aila (as Miika Whiskeyjack)
Shako Mattawa Jacobs ...
Jujijj
Stewart Myiow ...
Gisigu
Louis Beauvais ...
Tyler
Muin Gould ...
Young Joseph
Edit

Storyline

Red Crow Mi'g Maq reservation, 1976: By government decree, every Indian child under the age of 16 must attend residential school. In the kingdom of the Crow, that meansimprisonment at St. Dymphna's. That means being at the mercy of "Popper", the sadistic Indian agent who runs the school. At 15, Aila is the weed princess of Red Crow. Hustling with her uncle Burner, she sells enough dope to pay Popper her "truancy tax", keeping her out of St. Ds. But when Aila's drug money is stolen and her father Joseph returns from prison, the precarious balance of Aila's world is destroyed. Her only options are to run or fight... and Mi'gMaq don't run. Written by monterey media

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

On the Red Crow Rez, growing up means getting even.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, drug use, language, sexual references and graphic nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Release Date:

31 May 2014 (USA)  »

Box Office

Budget:

CAD 1,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$164 (USA) (31 October 2014)

Gross:

$909 (USA) (7 November 2014)
 »

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User Reviews

A very impressive debut feature...
25 May 2014 | by See all my reviews

It has a flaw or two, but this debut feature from Native Canadian Jeff Barnaby is very, very good. Think "Mean Streets" meets "Dance Me Outside" with a little bit of magic realism sprinkled in, and you'll get a sense of how this film works. It's probably the best First Nations film I've seen since "Smoke Signals," back in 1998.

"Rhymes for Young Ghouls" follows the story of Aila, a parent-less teenage girl living on a Mi'kmaq reservation in Canada during the 1970s. To help make ends meet, she sells marijuana with her uncle to the local pot smokers on the reserve. This draws the attention of Popper, a sociopathic federal Native Agent who takes much pleasure in tormenting and beating Mi'kmaq people like Aila and her friends. Nobody can sell marijuana on the reserve unless Popper gets his cut of the profits.

Much of the film plays like a dark visual poem, and the imagery and cinematography are very strong. Barnaby lifts some of his imagery and ideas from Mi'kmaq culture, pop culture, horror movies, and what is probably personal experience from growing up on a reservation himself.

"Rhymes for Young Ghouls" gets a big thumbs up from me. This is an impressive debut feature film, and I look forward to seeing Mr. Barnaby's future projects.


17 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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