Director: Clement Virgo
Featuring: Lamar Johnson, Aaron Pierre, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Kiana Madeira, Lovell Adams-Gray
Runtime: 119 minutes
Content advisory: police violence, themes of racism
Community Partner: Black Luck Collective
Noted as one of Canada’s most exciting filmmakers since his 1995 feature debut Rude, Clement Virgo is at the height of his powers as both a storyteller and a visual stylist with this adaptation of David Chariandy’s award-winning novel. BROTHER tells the story of two Jamaican Canadian brothers growing up in Scarborough in the early 1990s. Lamar Johnson stars as Michael, a shy teen who reveres his older brother and fiercest protector Francis (Aaron Pierre), a young man whose tough, stoic manner masks his own vulnerabilities. Though their mother Ruth (Marsha Stephanie Blake) tries to shield her boys from the dangers looming outside the family’s apartment, their fates are inevitably affected by the harsh reality that surrounds them. While Virgo’s film vividly captures the many struggles and sorrows in Chariandy’s story, his thoughtful, compassionate direction and masterful handling of the source material means the notes of hope and healing are just as resonant.