Ryan’s life is ruptured when the death of his father uncovers the existence of family that had been kept secret from him, sparking a tumultuous journey through which he must face the complications of love and identity in order to reconcile his fractured relationship with his mother.
When a tragic accident at the Williams Lake Stampede claims the life os his father, Ryan (17), is further shaken up when he leans both that his father was adopted and that Ryan’s paternal grandmother, lives mere kilometers away on a nearby reserve. Feeling betrayed by both his parents and frustrated with his mother’s unwillingness to talk in the face of his father’s death, Ryan attempts to reconcile his disconnection from the Tsilhqot’in culture denied to him by his parents by befriending his “new” cousin Brandon - an eccentric and confident teen caught between the violence of his brother Joshua’s gang life, and his gentle love of the land and community.
The two become fast friends as Brandon introduces Ryan to the joys and complications of life on the reservation and the hidden history of his own family. On the reserve for the first time in his life, Ryan meets Alexis, who he is immediately enraptured with, unaware that she and Joshua are somewhat of an item. Alexis and Ryan break into his grandmother’s house where they share an intimate search for an unknowable feeling. Through his exposure by Brandon and Alexis, Ryan soon starts to fall in love with his own culture, but still feels outside of his, torn between two histories, not feeling at home in either.
When a tailings pond ruptures at the local mine where his mother, Christine, works, and the energy in town intensifies, Ryan is violently assaulted by Joshua, leaving him the hospital. Relieved to find her son alive, but terrified at what could have been, Ryan’s mother realizes that to keep her son close, she must face her own silence, and the two slowly begin to open up to one another - a first step at reconciling their relationship and finding a new way forward together.
Directed by Trevor Mack | Written by Kathleen Hepburn | Story by Trevor Mack