Justin Simms uses Michael Crummey’s seminal piece of Newfoundland literature
as a lens to examine cultural change and modern relationships.
its most basic level, the film serves as a portrait of Newfoundland and its
in Crummey’s collection of poems and stories, there is a decisive theme of the
artist investigating his ancestors to discover himself. Hard
questions the function of art in human understanding: the power of
storytelling to, as Crummey says in an interview near the end of the film,
“pin something long enough, to make it hold still long enough for us to be
able to see it for what it is.”
stories are dramatized in atmospheric, carefully composed black-and-white
sequences overlaid with voiceover readings from the works themselves, read by
Simms. Character is built through an accumulation of detail.
dramatizations are broken up by Crummey’s own ruminations in conversation with
Simms. The writer’s childhood memories tell us where the spirit of the
stories, and in some cases their subjects, came from; his thoughts on the
process of creating the book tell us why they matter.
beautiful cinematic blending of old and new, Hard
Light is a timely
reflection on compassion and the art of living.
2012, 54 min 50 s
Yorkton Film Festival
May 23 to 26 2013, Yorkton - Canada
FIFA / International Festival of Films on Art
March 14 to 24 2013, Montréal - Canada
Honourable Mention for the NFB Colin Low Award
Doxa - Documentary Film and Video Festival
May 4 to 13 2012, Vancouver - Canada
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