Canada/Switzerland, 2017, 90 min
When death haunts a high school in a small town in the late 1990s, everyone is forever transformed. In this gentle prismatic film, Samara returns to the town she fled as a teen to reimmerse herself in the memories still lurking there, in its spaces and within the dusty boxes of diaries, photos and VHS tapes. 1999 is not a ghost story, but the ghosts are palpable at every turn. The snow-covered streets, the school’s hallways and lockers are preserved as in a dream. The absences left by the relentless teenage suicides still shimmer with questions, trauma and regret. Samara encounters people who are as breathtaking as they are heartbroken, and, finally, 16 years later, the community strengthens itself by sharing the long-silenced memories. Ultimately the film weaves together multiple voices in a collective essay on how is grief internalized - and how, as children, we so painfully learn to articulate our desire to stay alive.
- Director Bio
- Festivals And Awards
Samara grew up in Moncton and left at age 16. She earned a PhD in Cultural Studies and has spent over 15 year working in the field of documentary film across Europe, North- and South America: primarily as a filmmaker, editor, and festival programmer. She currently is a programmer for the Points North Institute and the Camden International Film Festival, and formerly worked with HotDocs, RIDM, and Philip Groening FIlmkproducktion.
Hot Docs 2018. Visions du Réel 2018.
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