Backroads

Four Native American sisters on an island reservation in Quebec battle injustice at the hands of men in this 2000 Canadian feature. Director Shirley Cheechoo (who also plays one of the sisters) captures the dead-end existence of the insular community as well as the humor, the anxieties, and the resilience of her protagonists. Given the film's passion and sincerity, it hardly requires the supernatural element of “the Bearwalker,” a malevolent tribal spirit that materializes as a fireball, a vintage Packard, and so forth. Popping up as a convenient plot device, it only dilutes the potency of the sisters' solidarity and moral strength. 82 min.

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