In a 19th-century summer, two large families gather for their annual fishing retreat on the far-removed island of Haida Gwaii. Adiits'ii, a charming nobleman, accidentally causes the death of his best friend Kwa's son and hastens into the wilderness. Adiits'ii is tormented by what he has done and spirals into insanity, becoming Gaagiixid, a supernatural being crazed by hunger. He unexpectedly survives the winter, and at next year's gathering, the families try to convert Gaagiixid back to Adiitst'ii.Written by
Some of the actors did not speak Haida before making this film. Prior to production, the filmmakers held a two week language bootcamp for the cast, during which the actors lived communally in a traditional longhouse. See more »
This is a successful telling of a Haida folk legend - it effectively brings to life and adds emotional depth to what would seem to the outsider as just a simple myth.
The performances are good, though the dialogue feels quite formal and a bit artificial in its pauses and slowness; I get the impression that that this is from the challenge of a script in a language that is almost extinct. The most effective scenes, from an acting perspective, occur when there is little dialogue and more body language.
The script is very well written and focused on telling a simple story.
Art and set design, cinematography...the actual visual portraying of this world is a triumph. I'm very grateful for the opportunity to observe the Haida people's traditions in their beautiful home.
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