itunes_lesserblessedBy Laura Pudas

Local and prestigious Indigenous film festival, Biindigaate hosted a number of great films over the weekend. This year marks the festival’s fifth and the line up included a wide range of both short and feature-length films, among them a drama entitled The Lesser Blessed. On Saturday night, the Paramount theatre was packed for this production, which premiered at Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) earlier this year.

The film, adapted from Richard Van Camp’s (of Tlicho First Nation) novel, centers on the experience of a First Nations teen living in a small community in the Northwest Territories. The film follows Larry—quiet, bullied, and hopelessly in love—through his personal struggles when he befriends a charismatic new classmate who has recently moved into town. As he begins his journey of self-exploration, dark and painful times from his past begin to surface. This emotional and harrowing tale of Larry’s small-town life in the North is certainly worth a watch.  Though the character development was lacking at times, the story itself was powerful and the score and cinematography throughout the film were captivating.

Both the novel and film are available for purchase on iTunes.