Film Kuessipan + interview

Een film met authentieke, inheemse elementen en de kracht van vriendschap tussen vrouwen.

Mikuan en Shaniss zijn twee Innu hartsvriendinnen die op de drempel staan naar volwassenheid. Hoewel ze opgroeien als beste vriendinnen in het Innu reservaat Uashat Mak Mani-Utenam in het Canadese Québec, leiden Mikuan en Shaniss een ander leven. Mikuan woont bij haar liefhebbende familie, wil graag schrijfster worden en droomt ervan naar de stad te verhuizen. Shaniss komt uit een gebroken gezin, brengt haar jeugd door in verschillende huizen en maakt de middelbare school niet af. Ze woont samen met haar vriend Greg en hun baby. Als kinderen beloofden ze elkaar altijd samen te zullen blijven. De Innu-identiteit is een sterk onderdeel van hun leven. Maar naarmate ze ouder worden, komen de verschillen steeds meer boven drijven. De discrepanties dagen hun vriendschap uit, maar hun liefde voor elkaar blijkt sterker te zijn. Naast hartverwarmende momenten zijn er ook momenten waarop je hart breekt. De film is gebaseerd op de gelijknamige roman (2013) van de Canadese schrijfster Naomi Fontaine.

English synopsis

Two girls grow up as best friends in an Innu community. While Mikuan has a loving family, Shaniss is
picking up the pieces of her shattered childhood. As children, they promised each other to stick together
no matter what. But as they’re about to turn 17, their friendship is shaken when Mikuan falls for a white
boy, and starts dreaming of leaving the reserve that’s now too small for her dreams.


Interview with director Myriam Verreault

Myriam Verreault is a Canadian film director and screenwriter. She grew up in Loretteville, a Quebec City suburb. After completing her studies in journalism, history and cinema, she worked as a props person, director and editor in the television and film industry. Myriam started her research and writing for Kuessipan in 2012 in collaboration with the writer of the book by the same name, Naomi Fontaine, and spent five hardworking years on it, during which she made multiple immersion trips to the Innu community before beginning to shoot. Myriam received a Canadian Screen Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay at the 8th Canadian Screen Awards, and two Prix Iris nominations for Best Director and Best Screenplay at the 22A Quebec Cinema Awards.

What touched you while making this film?

The people of Uashat mak Mani-Utenam. They are resistant and despite the normal distrust they may have towards a white filmmaker, they have chosen to be confident and generous. The film is them. This community is the strongest I know.

What do you hope to accomplish with this film?

I wanted above all to tell a story of friendship. It is a universal theme that crosses all eras and all cultures. I find that we abuse love in movies and we underuse friendship.

What did you learn from this?

That creating with people from a different culture from one's own brings more benefits than challenges. Also, filming with non-professional actors can be very unsettling. But we must accept and embrace the little chaos they cause. It is this chaos which will give the particular color to the film.


Filmcast : Brigitte Poupart, Étienne Galloy, Sharon Ishpatao Fontaine

Regisseur : Myriam Verreault

Genre : drama

Duur : 117 minuten

Datum : 23-09-2021