After a young Canadian Aboriginal girl is murdered in 1971, it takes 20 years of inaction and prejudice before the police finally find the real killers. Meanwhile the killers have to live with their own guilt and fear of being caught.
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Lawrence E. King Jr.,
The true story of Helen Betty Osborne, a 19 year old Indian girl who was brutually murdered and slain on November 12, 1971 in The Pas, Manitoba, Canada and nearly taking 20 years for the police to find the four men who murdered her.Written by
I have seen this movie many times over the years, and it is no less gut-wrenching today. Michael Mahonen won a Gemini award for his portrayal of Lee Colgan, a teenager who went out for a good time one night and ended up as an unwitting accomplice to a murder. The story is a complex tale in which the high school students who know what happened are threatened with violence if they go to the police and the older citizens don't want to see whites go prison over the death of a Cree.
The first half of the film takes place at the time of the murder, and the second half takes places roughly fifteen years later. Lee Colgan has become an alcoholic, while the other three boys who were in the car have gone on with their lives. Some of the young women who heard about the murder after the fact are still haunted by guilt at not having spoken up. There is also a sense of frustration on the part of the Mounties at knowing they're surrounded by people who know something but refuse to tell. I would like to add a personal observation here. Michael Mahonen's transformation from a carefree teenager to an alcoholic who is far older than his years was impressive to me when I first saw it. The performance became absolutely astounding to me when I learned that he made the film while he was working on the "Road to Avonlea" series. In the mornings, he was playing a teenager in the early 1900's with an Irish accent. In the afternoons, he was portraying a thirty-something alcoholic in the 1980's with a Canadian accent.
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