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Powerful Rhymes for Young Ghouls looks at Native American tragedy


Accent Film Entertainment is set to release Rhymes for Young Ghouls. The Canadian independent dramatic thriller stars newcomers Devery Jacobs, Glen Gould and Brandon Oakes. It will available on Blu-ray and DVD July 22.

Directed by Jeff Barnaby, making his feature film debut, Rhymes for Young Ghouls explores Canada's treatment of its Native population as governed by the Indian Act, a mandate forcing children into residential schools and by any means necessary these youths were forced away from their communities. As the schools became rife with abuse and corruption the language and culture of the kids was subsumed in the controversial process of civilising them.

Rhymes for Young Ghouls resembles an S.E. Hinton novel re-imagined as a surreal, righteously furious thriller. At the tender age of 15, Aila (Kawennahere Devery Jacobs) has taken over the drug business of her father Joseph (Glen Gould) while he serves a stint in prison. Joseph's return signals an abrupt end to Aila's reign as the reservation's drug queen; it also piques the interest of Popper (Mark Antony Krupa), the reserve's corrupt and sadistic Indian agent. The bloody tragedy that unfolds becomes an angry and poetic howl for lost lives, lost opportunities and lost loved ones - a fever dream whose terrifying fictions are grounded in even more terrible fact.

Winner Best Canadian First Feature at the Vancouver International Film Festival, Rhymes for Young Ghouls earned director Barnaby the award for New Director's Showcase at the Seattle International Film Festival.

"The film is told with a mix of lyricism and kicks to the gut, and is all the better for these shifts in tonality," writes Jason Gorber for Twitch Film. "It's remarkable how the narrative feels both highly specific to this community, yet near mythic in a more universal, classic sense."