The cold Canadian ice plays home to one of the most violent sports in the world, and the kids of the great northern white accept it as a national and personal past time to shed blood, sweat and teeth on the ice. The ice is their church, and their couch is their god. Like an elite military unit they push team building at very turn in an almost cult like determination to reach the sweat salvation of victory
Director Kevan Funks, Canadian Hockey Drama does not tread new water but it gives such an honest, and unassumingly brutal depiction of guilt that is uniquely northern.
Tyson Burr is a young, driven hockey player caught up in the chaos of the rink, hits another player hard..too hard, forcing him to be thrown out of the game, and sending the other player to the hospital
Soon he is put on suspension indefinitely from the league, causing him to spend most of days wandering around, waiting, thinking, imagining the second he can step foot back into the game and rejoin his team.
Most of his new found freedom is spent working at the meat processing plant where we see a different kind of violence. a systemic violence not unlike the one we too commonly see in the hyper, masculinity driven culture that is ice hockey.
The film is about a different kind of violence, and where that sort of violence comes from. its hard to shed away the deep rage that is burned inside of you from day one so you can succeed on the ice, and in a world where that sort of violence is encouraged, young minds can be warped and sometimes fail to understand where the line is drawn and when you are truly out of the game.
For all this film could of said, sadly in the end it falls to the same clique of the silent core, northern white, indie, low budget dramas that we time and time again. Unable to escape those clique’s Hello, Destroyer in the end amounts to a pretty unremarkable debut aside from its fierce depiction of the game itself.
Funk is still very early in his career, so we can assume that he will only grow as an artist, as he is obviously a filmmaker with something to say and a voice that is distinctly Northern