Rhymes for Young Ghouls, written and directed by Jeff Barnaby is set on the Red Crow Mi’g Maq reservation, 1976. It follows 15 year old Aila as she navigates growing up in a country which imposes taxes and violence upon those who wish to preserve heritage, language, and way of living. She must also face the violence & addiction within her family, within her own community. The children of the Crow have a common enemy. The sadistic truancy officer, Popper. Popper torments the children with physical and psychological violence if they remain “truant.” Under the age of 16, all Indian children must attend a residential school; in this case a Catholic school run my Popper and like minded adults, ready to imprison and traumatize the children of the Crow.
Rhymes is a heist film, a revenge film, a coming of age film, and possibly one of the most relevant for policy films we’ve discussed on the podcast.
If you haven’t seen the movie, beware, this conversation has a ton of spoilers.
We highly recommend watching! (And it’s, at least for now, on Amazon Prime Video.)
This podcast is part of a series on Indigenous films in partnership with the Red Nation Celebration Institute, and the Red Nation Film Festival. It is brought to you by Price Video Services and USC Bedrosian Center, and continues ongoing efforts to bring policy and its impact into the public discourse.
Sound supervision by the Brothers Hedden.