At the Festival: Before Tomorrow
My first day at Sundance is extremely incomparable to my first day doing anything else. It wasn’t as drug-induced as getting my wisdom teeth taken out, nor was it as fun as my first race in alpine skiing. It was, despite the overuse of the word, unique. I have the largest collection of tickets, one of which was to the most beautiful movie Before Tomorrow.
Detailing the story of this family, Before Tomorrow goes into the lives of Inuits in the mid 19th century, following their every move from underwater shots up to their sea kayaks to shots following the two main characters, a grandmother and her courageous grandson, in caves and the great white north. The shots were unbelievably beautiful, the music (while redundant) fit extremely well with the emotion of the film, as the singer kept asking why do we have to die (paraphrased). The story line was actually put together using inspiration which co-director Marie-Hélène Cousineau took from actual Inuit stories of a grandfather as well as a book written by John Riel. The other co-director, Madeline Piujuq Ivalu, was actually the lead actress in the film.
Waiting in line for the film, in a cold concrete alley outside the Egyptian theater, I met Tracy, a Park City local who had been working with Sundance as a volunteer for about 6 years running. She was extremely friendly, and as a photographer, looked out for the most beautiful films in the area. She told me about 5 films that I couldn’t go on living without renting from Netflix, all of which were made outside of the US. Her perspective really helped me to enjoy the film better as we sat down next to eachother. She introduced me to her friend Stacy, an equally nice woman, whom she had worked for before and was saving a seat for. Stacy is from Toronto, and while she didn’t talk a whole lot to me as the film started soon after I met her, I could tell she was as in love with film as my friend Tracy.
In the Q&A section of the film, only Marie-Hélène Coisineau was present, and she told the funny story of how many times the film script had to be translated from French to English to the specific Inuit language (so her other co-director could understand it) and then back into English and French.
My friend Tracy absolutely loved the movie - we talked a little afterwards and I could tell that my perspective through simply talking to her had changed how the film affected me. The sad ending left me wanting to see more, and wanting to know how the end of the film worked out. It was a truly sad but extremely brilliant and beautifully shot film, and I would recommend to everyone just to go and see it whenever they have time. To make it easy, you can just click here to view the website and check for tickets.