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Uvanga (PG) *** Homeward Bound!

A mother’s determination to teach her son about the past provides plenty of food for thought in Uvanga. Set in the desolate Cana­dian north this handsome production arrives on our urban shores courtesy of Mongrel Me­dia. Enjoy this fantastic journey into the great outdoors now at the doorsteps of Vancouver’s Vancity Theatre.

Old memories die hard especially when the community is small. Scores to settle are front and centre as experienced by Montreal residents Anna and son Thomas when they return to Igloonik, Nunavut. Both Marianne Farley and Lukasi Forrest are perfectly suited to portray these family transplants who en­counter a rude awakening when they return home. Firstly, this is a remote community with nine of trappings and comforts of the big city. Thomas in particular has a tough go of it despite his relatives’ best intentions. A.so made to feel welcome is Anna whose success as a teacher contrasts mightily to the poverty the residents of this small coastal community face every single day.

Where Uvanga shines brightest is the smart way the filmmakers weave tradition into the story line which includes an unsolved mystery and friction between many of the lo­cal inhabitants. Beautiful cinematography of this majestic region displays well on celluloid throughout this 86 minute family expose.

Never overpowering, joint directors Marie-Helene Cousineau and Madeline Ivalu suc­ceed in developing caring characters and a fam­ily dynamic that will give audiences lots of pause to reflect on a remote lifestyle and culture with a multitude of growing pains.