qathet film festival 2024
Mon Mar 4 — 7 pm
Meredith Hama-Brown’s brilliant debut feature film spotlights the growing pains of a family in flux. Both culturally and spiritually poignant as it dexterously juggles the perspectives of its protagonists, Seagrass effectively depicts the flourishing talents of Hama-Brown. Shot on 35mm film by Norm Li, the visual language of the film reflects the somber atmosphere of its protagonist’s states of mind with purpose, emphasizing the cloudy skies above and the murky, darkening waters of the Pacific Ocean surrounding them. The film recently won the International Film Critic’s Award at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Shot mainly on Gabriola Island and in Tofino, writer/director Meredith Hama-Brown turns reflections on her own racial identity into a raw and emotional drama about marriage, childhood, parenting, and this thorny thing we call family. Vaguely set in the 1990s, the film opens with two sisters, 11-year-old Stephanie (Nyha Breitkreuz) and six-year-old Emmy (Remy Marthaller), playing on the deck of a ferry, the wind blowing wildly through their hair. It’s summertime, and the girls are enthralled, if slightly terrified, by the glistening, rushing waters below them.
As the adults work through addressing their complex issues in group therapy, the girls are left to their own devices, exploring seaside caverns and making new friends. Yet, this is no golden summer retreat for them either. Not only do they experience passive racism from the other kids, but they also come to that first bitter realization that your sibling might not always be your best friend and your parents might not always be there for you when you need them. The power lies in what’s left unspoken in this devastating relationship drama by writer/director Hama-Brown, who exhibits a profound understanding and sensitive hand for exploring a woman’s perspective of what it means to be a wife, sister, and mother.
Nyha Huang Breitkreuz, Chris Pang, Sarah Gadon, Hannah Bos, Remy Marthaller, Benjamin Goas, Danielle Klaudt, Miles Phoenix Foley, Gabriel Carter, Kate Gajdosik, Sawyer Proulx, Milania Kerr, Kane Stewart, and Ava Kelders.
Country of Origin:
by Monica Rho
Canada / English, 2009
This witty NFB animation explores the complexities and paradoxes of modern life, the isolation within today’s crowded cities, and inner, emotional insecurities. .