Biography Drama

TIFF Review: ‘The Grizzlies’

September 19, 2018Ferdosa Abdi

The Grizzlies is a heartbreaking and inspirational story about the power of community and hope that tells the true story of a group of Inuit teenagers who helped turn things around in their struggling Arctic community of Kugluktuck, Nunavut, thanks to lacrosse and a passionate teacher.

Directed by Miranda de Pencier, the film is breathtakingly beautiful and tragic as it deals with heavy subject matter such as teen suicide, abuse, alcoholism and poverty. It also does not shy away from calling attention to how communities like this in the Arctic got to this point. The young stars assembled are astonishingly good, as they tap into their own experiences and bring forth nuanced and passionate performances. It is truly a gift for many of these young actors to be playing such honest and authentic characters.

The result will make you cry, laugh and cheer. It tells an inspiring story that still affects the residents of Kugluktuck today, as the Grizzlies have continued to give back to their home. The true story and the movie showcases how powerful community and hope can be, and how sports really does unify. In a time when many know very little about our Northern neighbors, it is vital that The Grizzlies be seen by as many people as possible. The lessons to be learned and the craftsmanship on display are just too good to ignore.

The Grizzlies makes its world premiere at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival. Its runtime is 1 hr. 44 min.

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