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This screening took place on
Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at 9:00pm
Yukon Arts Centre

In an era of heightened anxiety over cyber-bullying and school violence, Jason Buxton's debut fiction feature packs a heavy punch. Blackbird offers a disturbing and perceptive look at the culture of fear that has arisen in the wake of Columbine and other horrific school shootings — a pervasive paranoia that reads typical teen angst and alienation as the stirrings of murderous intent. Featuring a riveting performance by 18-year old Connor Jessup. "Jessup gives a superbly understated performance as the alienated teen, and director Jason Buxton weaves a brilliant narrative of suspense. For much of the film he manipulates the time frame, flashing back for a background and context that’s revealed piecemeal, and building a fearful suspense by showing Sean’s plight in increments of escalating persecution. Buxton is unflinching in his depiction of psychological torment and institutional cruelty, but this is far from a hopeless film. It’s a story of violent upheaval from without and gradual change from within. Sean’s hardships—undeserved on every level—threaten to break him. His strength is not physical or institutional but internal: the kind that is easiest to lose. He will be tested by legal manipulations, social ostracizing and brutal violence, with only his courage and his conviction in himself to bring him through. The suspense is not just story-based, but moral and psychological—and it’s very powerful." - VIFF 2012 Winner of Best Atlantic Feature at AFF, best first feature at TIFF and best Canadian feature film at VIFF.
  • Directed by Jason Buxton
  • 2012, Nova Scotia
  • 103 minutes

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