Kingston Canadian Film Festival | Werewolf
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Features, Sunday, The Screening Room


Director: Ashley McKenzie

Featuring: Bhreagh MacNeil, Andrew Gillis

Language: English

Runtime: 78 minutes

Rating: 14A

Local Short: SWAPPED

dir. Emma Kent, Chris Wiens, Naseem Loloie, Roy Zheng, Natasha Tennyson, Sam Anderson

Sunday, March 5

4:00 pm

The Screening Room

Presented with support from


The hardscrabble existence of two homeless addicts is portrayed with sensitivity and brutal honesty in acclaimed filmmaker Ashley McKenzie’s debut feature. Shot almost entirely in oblique close-ups to capture the disorientation and frustration of McKenzie’s characters, twentysomething junkies Blaise and Vanessa, Werewolf doggedly and courageously refuses to romanticize its characters lives.  (The style suggests an affinity for Toronto minimalists such as Kazik Radwanski, and Lodge Kerrigan’s Clean, Shaven.)

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Sleeping in tents, fighting with government bureaucrats, Blaise and Vanessa survive primarily through an underground economy. They harass people to let them cut their grass with a rusty old mower they haul over dirt roads and through rainstorms. Such scenes capture the futility, toil, and frustration in their lives with startling power, like some crack-addled version of the Stations of the Cross. It’s a testament to the skill of both McKenzie and the performers that they inspire empathy in us even as we find the characters’ actions perplexing and troubling. Werewolf confirms, boldly, the promise of McKenzie’s much-lauded earlier short films.   STEVE GRAVESTOCK, TIFF