Blackbird (2012) MIFF Film Review


Canada 107 mins

Sean (Connor Jessup) has moved from the city to live with his father in small town. Despite his father’s attempts to connect on hunting trips, Sean feels like a loner, and this is not helped by the fact that he dresses differently to everyone else and is bullied by the school hockey team. Plus, he is in love with Deanna (Alexia Fast) who is the girlfriend of the captain. Luckily for him, this is not unrequited, however it adds to his frustration with life when she does not stand up for him. In a series of ill-considered internet postings, Sean is arrested for planning  a school massacre and has to negotiate his way through the juvenile facility he is placed in.

Every school student should watch this film. There is no doubt that Sean does a series of stupid things, but he is not a bad or dangerous person, and yet ends up dealing with the consequences beyond his control. Having worked with teenagers for years and aware that society as a whole has little idea of the impact that social media is having in the adult world, much less the insane world of teenagers, this is a film that could really bring home the idea that a stupid idea can be magnified when put online. Connor Jessup is fabulous as the disillusioned teenager struggling to fit in.

Blackbird screens at ACMI on Wednesday July 31 at 11am and Tuesday August 6 at 11am. To book tickets, visit