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The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open

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Canada, Norway · 2019
1h 45m
Director Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers
Starring Violet Nelson, Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, Charlie Hannah, Barbara Eve Harris
Genre Drama

When Áila encounters a woman barefoot on the side of the road, she discovers she is running away from an abusive relationship. Áila decides to bring the woman, Rosie, home. The story of how two Indigenous women navigate trauma and its aftermath in this woman-made thriller.

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What are critics saying?


Film Threat by

The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open is a genuine social realist film and the fact that it is shot in real-time only heightens the sense of reality. Everything is authentic.


Los Angeles Times by Gary Goldstein

Don’t let its florid, mouthful of a title mislead you: The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open is a film that’s as urgent and unpretentious as it is remarkable. It’s safe to say you haven’t seen too many movies quite like it.


The New York Times by Jeannette Catsoulis

Filmed almost entirely in real time, and using a series of long, intimate takes, “The Body Remembers” is about privilege and its lack, motherhood and its absence, race and its legacy.


Variety by Peter Debruge

Stands out in a field of generic, cookie-cutter dramas, not simply in terms of representation — though the female-made, indigenous-focused thriller offers a field day for intersectionality theorists — but also in the unconventional way the story unfolds.


Movie Nation by Roger Moore

The lack of dramatic fireworks mute the film’s impact somewhat. And young Ms. Nelson has an unfortunate tendency to mumble, swallow her lines.


Original-Cin by Thom Ernst

The film is gentle, subtle, patient and wholly authentic. What makes it essential is not only in its ability to create a drama that’s real, harrowing, haunting, and hopeful but in its ability to keep playing in our heart long after it’s over.

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