Canada’s Top Ten: Our Review of ‘Hello Destroyer’

Canada’s Top Ten: Our Review of ‘Hello Destroyer’

Talk to any hockey fan about violence in the sport and you are bound to get a passionate opinion.  For almost as long as hockey has been the national pastime there has been debate about on-ice violence.  Hello Destroyer, from director Kevan Funk, addresses the issue but from a unique perspective.

The film follows Tyson Burr, a defensive player on a small town minor league hockey team.  When he becomes involved in a serious on-ice incident he finds himself ostracized by his team, his community and even his family.  Despite being egged on by his coaches and teammates to do whatever is necessary to win, when Tyson accidentally injures another player in pursuit of victory he finds himself dealing with the consequences on his own.  Alone and with no support his life begins to spiral out of control.

The movie’s point of view is distinctly Tyson’s, as the director uses close ups, shallow focus and tight framing to keep our eyes squarely on his emotional and physical reactions with great effect.  And although it is most certainly a slow moving film, which will be a deterrent to some viewers, the subject matter is interesting, specifically the perspective of the violent instigator.

Hello Destroyer is a bleak vision to be sure but it is thought provoking and worth seeing for its exploration of the effects of the violence culture in sports on the players, including the instigators.  However while the film does a great job portraying Tyson’s isolation and turmoil its focus is so narrow it ignores some of the greater questions about how this issue is dealt with at a communal and organizational level.  A movie that addressed these concerns would be fascinating to watch but in the meantime this film is an excellent start.

Hello Destroyer on Friday Jan. 20th and Saturday January 21st, please visit TIFF.net for ticket information.

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Galadriel fell in love with the movies when she was taken to see Superman at the age of three. Legend has it she watched the whole thing standing up with her jaw on the floor. She went on to see Superman four more times in the theatre and developed a lifelong passion for film. Galadriel earned a Bachelor of Arts in Cinema Studies from the University of Toronto which she parlayed into a ten year stint at Blockbuster Video and more recently a career in nursing. But some things never change – she still loves movies and counts Gone with the Wind, Amadeus, The Shawshank Redemption, La Dolce Vita and the films of Michelangelo Antonioni among her favourites. She is also obsessed with the Oscars and knows more about them than any one person should. Galadriel currently lives in Toronto with her husband and young daughter who is soon to see her very first movie in the theatre.