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Marina Antunes [Celluloid 08.09.13] Canada drama

Director Jeff Barnaby may be making his feature film debut with this year's TIFF selected Rhymes for Young Ghouls but he's no new comer to making memorable movies. His shorts have all displayed a talented filmmaker with a keen eye for the hellish and his feature debut looks no less impressive.

Set on the Red Crow reservation in 1976, Rhymes for Young Ghouls stars newcomer Devery Jacobs as Aila, a 14 year old orphan who has been under the care of her drug peddling uncle for years, fashioning her into the weed princess of Red Crow.

When her father, Joseph, is released from prison, he's determined to right past wrongs. But he faces a brother who doesn't want him upsetting the drug trade, a daughter who doesn't need him, and Popper, a psychotic Indian Agent who wants him back in prison or dead. What Joseph doesn't know is that Aila plans to leave the reserve upon his release. The only thing keeping her there is the drug money stolen from her by Popper and her affection for the lost boys of the local residential school, Saint Dymphna's. In a final bid to escape the reserve, she hatches a plot to rob Popper blind and get her revenge.

It sounds promising enough but the trailer is a knockout, a drug infused lesson on the various type of joints and what each says about the smoker. It also features some darkly striking images and the voiceover of a girl who is disappointed in life.

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