BEFORE THE STREETS
Run time: 1 hr 37 min
Rating: 6.9/10 IMDb
Year it came out: 2016 (USA)
Director: Chloe Leriche
Shawnouk, a Native teenager, kills a man during a robbery and flees into the forest. Deciding to return to his Atikamekw village in Quebec (Canada), he tries to redeem himself using traditional cleansing rituals.
BEFORE THE STREETS celebrates a revival of native culture and its traditions, as embodied by the very actors who participated in the film. The first dramatic feature shot in the native language of Atikamekw, the film boasts a cast composed almost entirely of non-professionals living and working in the villages where the film was shot. The story takes place in Manawan, while a forest fire closes in on the nearby village of Wemotaci.
First-time feature director Chloe Leriche made BEFORE THE STREETS with the collaboration of Quebec’s three Atikamekw communities in, drawing on all the vitality they embody. By following the pacing of her non—professional actors, she created a distinct style that goes beyond notions of the North-American indie genre and recent media reports on the dismal conditions in Canada’s native communities.
Self-taught, Chloé Leriche has written, directed, edited, and produced indie short films. Her work was screened at numerous international film festivals. Her film FRAGMENTS OU LETTRE A UN ALLEMAND (DON’T JE SUIS AMOUREUSE EN SECRET) received an honorific mention for the Creation Prize 2004 at VideoForme (France). LES GRANDS (The Schoolyard) was selected at the Toronto International Film Festival and revealed as one of TIFF’s Canada’s Top Ten short films of 2007. In 2004, she started teaching filmmaking through Video Paradiso, working with Montreal’s homeless people. From 2006 to 2013, she periodically worked in native communities through the Wapikoni mobile, a caravan equipped with cameras and editing suites. While encouraging native people to express themselves through documentary film and music videos, she started writing her first feature BEFORE THE STREETS, with the will to involve the Atikamekw communities in the filmmaking process.