Snow Storm: Our Review of ‘Red Snow’

Posted in Movies, Theatrical by - March 12, 2020
Snow Storm: Our Review of ‘Red Snow’

Writer/director Marie Clements, known for her documentary work, brings her eye for detail and storytelling to her first feature film, Red Snow. And while I find the film beautifully shot, and framed around a haunting story of love, redemption, and family, I couldn’t quite get around some of the performances, and consequently couldn’t connect with the story as much as I would have liked to.

Dylan (Asivak Koostachin) is a Gwich’in-Canadian solider that gets captured by the Taliban after he is betrayed by his interpreter, Aman (Shafin Karim). While he is held and interrogated by Ramiz (Kane Mahon) we are given a look at the events that brought Dylan to this moment. And so unfolds a love story, a chase, and a story of redemption that doesn’t quite rest easy on Koostachin’s shoulders.

I found myself more involved in Aman’s character arc as we see the effect the Taliban has had not only on his country, but on his life, and family. He has worked as a teacher, and now finds himself confronted by terror and violence within the ranks of his own family. And while there are comparisons to be drawn between both Aman and Dylan; stories about cousins, not being what other members of their family expected, Karim’s performance is easier to access.

Shot in Yellowknife, and in British Columbia, Clements makes the best of her locations. And each and every one of her frames tells a story. Her skills as a documentary filmmaker allows for an smooth transition to feature films, as each moment on screen advances the story, and impacts the characters. There is no chaff.

There is a fluid poetry to Red Snow’s shot composition, especially those centred on moments of reflection, or pauses before momentous decisions; catching the way a hand curls and unfurls in the mud, the way the wind tugs at a robe. Or the way two connected souls share under the cover of warm blankets. These moments resound through the film, much as memories do in our own mind. Unfortunately, for me, I just wasn’t able to connect with some of the performances, to allow those moments to have as great an impact as they could.

Red Snow is a solid film, marred only by some lacklustre performances. It conveys an important narrative about the world we live in, how we live in it, and each other. Perhaps most importantly it is about the beauty and pain of love lost and discovered, and if we accept it.

  • Release Date: 3/13/2020
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TD Rideout has been a movie fan since the moment he first encountered Bruce the Shark in 1975. As passionate about cinema as he is popcorn movies, his film education is a continuing journey of classics new and old. He is at his most comfortable with a book, a drink, his partner and his dog.
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