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Ste. Anne – TIFF21

ste-anne

Ste. Anne – TIFF21

Synopsis:
A woman moves back to her rural home town in Manitoba where her brother Modeste has been raising the woman’s daughter with his wife.
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A Métis woman returns home after a multi-year absence in . Following a four-year absence, Renee () unexpectedly returns to her young daughter Athene (Isabelle d'Eschambault), who has been raised up until this point by Renee's brother Modeste () and his wife Elenore (). This sudden return causes tension in this Métis family, as Anne has a desire to take Athene to live at a dream home she plans to build in Ste. Anne, Manitoba.

Ste. Anne is the feature-film debut by Manitoban filmmaker and artist Rhayne Vermette, who also stars in the film as the protagonist Renee. Shot on 16mm film over the course of two years and featuring members of Vermette's family and the expanded Métis community, the film has a very retro documentary feel, with a number of experimental flourishes, such as the use of over-exposure as transitions and having dialogue washed out by other sounds, such as flying geese.

Somewhere within St. Anne is a solid mother-daughter drama, which even has a vague supernatural element to it at times. However, the very unconventional execution of the film, which includes many long, drawn-out shots of the landscape, might test the patience of some views. That said, St. Anne is an interesting debut for Rhayne Vermette.

Ste. Anne is screening as part of the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival


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Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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