Cinéfest film is set in the future, but has undertones of Canada’s residential school era
A new film called 'Night Raiders' by a Métis-Cree filmmaker is coming to Sudbury’s Cinefest this weekend.
Although it is set in the future, it echoes the dark days in Canada when Indigenous children were taken from their families and sent to residential schools.
The film is set in the year 2043. It follows a Cree mother and her daughter on the run to avoid being taken by authorities.
Danis Goulet, the writer and director of Night Raiders, said the film is set in dystopian North America.
“It is a very fast-paced moving kind of like future thriller, so everything is imaginary but it’s also an allegory," Goulet said. "It talks about colonial policies that were inflicted upon Indigenous people in Canada.
“It also is, I would say, hopeful and is very much about the love between the mother and child and then how that extends to the community, as well.”
Goulet said she began writing the story in 2013. But after the truth of what happened at residential schools came to light, she said it might change the context of how people view the film.
“This is a very heavy history for us all to contend with, but communities really need the truth to be acknowledged in order to heal,” said Goulet. “In the film, everything circles around the mother and the daughter and their bond and connection. It’s really about what Indigenous people had to go through under the system.”
Cinéfest officials said they are looking forward to airing the film, especially with it being so relevant to the news about residential schools and reconciliation.
“First of all, it’s a great thriller on its own as its own film, but the underlying messaging is just so strong," said Cinefest executive director Tammy Frick.
"I think it will engage youth, it will engage a lot of people that might not be really cognitive of the emotion that went along with the residential school issues.”
Night Raiders received rave reviews recently at the Toronto International Film Festival. It will be airing at Cinéfest Sudbury on Sept. 25.