In a psychological thriller set in a Quebec First Nations community, Lydia (Eve Ringuette) is the dutiful daughter who has come home to work for her father (Marco Collin) at the gas station and convenience store he inherited from her grandfather. Her father is impressed by the way she has been helping him and gives her more responsibility: She is to prepare the envelopes of government welfare money that are handed out once a month to needy members of the local population. She also gets the combination to the safe. Lydia, who is in her midtwenties, has a boyfriend, Jerome (Yan England), a local police officer who is not Innu. They appear to be quite smitten with each another, and after a coworker doesn’t arrive for her shift, he is careful to check on her when she has to work overnight. This is the setup for the drama that unfolds: A masked robber, high on crack, holds up the store at gunpoint once he sees that Lydia is alone. Very quickly, and despite his attempts to conceal his identity, Lydia recognizes him.
Two children growing up in the same household can experience their lives very differently. Though Lydia left home when she was fifteen, she doesn’t seem terribly traumatized by whatever it was she ran from. Her brother PA (Charles Buckell-Robertson), however, did not fare so well, and he has returned, gun in hand, for cash to pay off his significant debts.
unfolds like a play against the backdrop of the convenience store and gas pumps, with very few characters coming and going. Lydia must decide, moment to moment, whether or not PA is capable of killing her if he doesn’t get what he wants. She is unwilling to simply hand over the money her family and neighbors need to survive. But pacifying PA is difficult because he has the unhinged, desperate quality of a feral dog. Without the gun, which he jabs into his older sister’s cheek, he would be nothing but a sobbing little boy. He blames Lydia for leaving him when she was a teenager, and he tells
her exactly what it was like to live with their parents and without her.
is a story about trust, family, and forgiveness and just how severely the bonds of blood can be abused before they are irreparable. Though the plot points are a bit mechanical, the stakes are high, and the acting is flawless. Buckell-Robertson plays the distraught and angry PA as if his blood is boiling inside his veins and all he wants is relief. This heat is in stark contrast to Lydia’s cold fear, but they are both in need of similar solace. — Jennifer Levin