I never thought I would see a Canadian film, set in Toronto, that had characters mention nonas and St. Elizabeth, Jamaica--Kingston, yes, St. Elizabeth, no.
Nurse.Fighter.Boy screens at Yonge/Dundas AMC Theatre and the Royal Cinema. Filmmaker Charles Officer will participate in Q & A’s, Friday and Saturday, February 6 and 7, at the following Nurse.Fighter.Boy screenings:
-After the 7:15 pm shows at Yonge & Dundas, 10 Dundas St. East .
-After the 9:30 pm shows at the Royal, 608 College St .
Nurse.Fighter.Boy needs 500 "bums in seats" this week-end in order to remain at the Yonge/Dundas AMC theatre. Director, Charles Officer is hoping for a 3 week run, an ambitious hope for any Canadian film, let alone this intimate look at a single mother, her 12 year-old son, and the world-weary fighter that enters their lives. Outside of the Quebec market it is extremely difficult for English Canadian films to find an audience given their limited promotional budgets. As I've said in previous shows, the faces of Canadian actors don't show up on drink containers at your favourite fast food restaurant.
You need good actors to pull off a film like this (there's no CGI backwards aging as in Benjamin Button), and Charles Officer has managed to pull together an amazing primary and secondary cast. This quiet love story offers images I have never seen on a Canadian screen: the nurse, Jude (Karen LeBlanc)is battling Sickle Cell Anemia; her son Ciel, (Daniel J. Gordon) is both the man of the house and nurturer, and the fighter, Silence (Clark Johnson) becomes an unexpected mentor, a role he never anticipated. Young Samantha Somer Wilson, who plays Ciel's next door neighbour and friend is also incredible.
This is a film of "feeling" rather than "thinking"--moods are set by a soundtrack that fills in lines that are never spoken, warmth is derived from earthtone sets and natural lighting. One of my favourite scenes occurs at night when Silence takes the risk of reaching out to Jude by asking her if she "has someone". The scene is very quick, but it stayed with me because it was so believably romantic.
Refresh your movie palette and try something different on Feb. 6th. Do it for Charles and for Bob Marley (it's his birthday).
Shout out! to:
-Kelsey and Mars at the First Weekend Club for a great Canada Screens preview of this film
-Tovah Barocas at Canadian Film Centre
-Ray Nishimura (film lover) for the invite