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Blackbird | Canadian Front 2013

2012. Canada. Directed by Jason Buxton. In his small-town high school, Sean Randall is a solitary goth with a bent for Kafka and heavy metal. His only friend is the popular Deanna, who rides the same school bus. At night, they secretly exchange instant messages—until Deanna’s hockey-player boyfriend gets wind of the friendship and threateningly confronts Sean. In retaliation, Sean posts a menacing message online. In the wake of Columbine, the blog post is sufficient grounds for a raid on his house, and his father’s collection of unregistered hunting rifles cement the narrative that Sean was plotting a mass murder. The film follows Sean from handcuffs to courtroom to prison, through a nightmarish system that equates reprehensible yet rash words with actual violent crimes, and teenage alienation with psychopathic premeditation. Buxton’s thought-provoking feature debut resonates with current debates over gun control and juvenile justice, and paints an alarming picture of our culture of fear. 103 min.

Screening as part of Canadian Front 2013

Trailer courtesy of the filmmaker.



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