TIFF20: Trickster

Trickster?follows Jared (Joel Oulette), an Indigenous teen who lives his life from one disaster to the next. Whether he?s dealing with his wild-child mother (Crystle Lightning) or supporting his father (Craig Lauzon), Jared struggles to get through the day, especially financially. When his part-time job selling drugs comes to an end, he feels lost within his own unstable, yet familiar, life. After he meets a mysterious stranger, Jared?s world is shaken as he begins to see talking ravens and doppelgangers. At first, Jared is able to write them off as wild, drug-induced hallucinations. However, as he explores the meaning of his visions, Jared soon discovers that the answer may lie in a tradition that he has long ignored.

Directed by Michelle Latimer (ALIAS),?Trickster?is a dark and mysterious ride through mythology as it collides with the modern era. While the series falls neatly into the ?supernatural sub-genre?,?Trickster?s style and celebration of Indigenous culture keep the series fresh and engaging. Through her use of colour and tone, Latimer visually interweaves the mundane with the mystical, seemlessly blending the interaction between them. Featuring solid work by its entire cast, the series also crafts some truly unique characters that bring the world to life. (Crystle Lightning, in particular, is an absolute joy to watch as Jared?s free-wheeling but loving mother.)

In this way, Latimer has created a world that intrigues as well as challenges. Fun and mysterious, Trickster is an entertaining ride that draws you in through its premise but entices you to stay through its strong characters and storytelling. What?s more, while it thrives in its celebration of Indigenous traditions and folklore, it also serves as a humbling reminder of what can be lost when we misjudge our own place within the universe.

Trickster?is currently streaming on the TIFF Bell Digital Theatre during the Toronto International Film Festival and premieres on CBC on Wednesday, October 7th, 2020 at 9:00pm.

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