Analysis Of Withering Heights ( 2014 ) Directed By Liz Van Allen Cairns

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Nationhood and identity are both very slippery and ambiguous terms. As such, the possibilities to which these two concepts can be explored are quite extensive. Within Canadian cinema, there is a tendency towards realism as opposed to escapism, as seen in American/Hollywood cinema. This realist tradition can often be used to critique and explore the flaws of concepts such as nationhood and ‘the national’, while Hollywood cinema is much less critical and has a tendency to depict utopic and universalized places. This tendency towards realism and identifying the flaws of nationhood and identity while simultaneously emphasizing the importance of specific places is explored in the two Canadian short films, Withering Heights (2014) directed by Liz Van Allen Cairns and Luk 'Luk 'i: Mother (2014) directed by Wayne Wapeemukwa. Both films explore the struggles of nationhood and identity through the experiences of forgotten female protagonists whose problems are rooted in financial difficulties and whose narratives are intricately intertwined with the sense of place represented in each film. In Withering Heights, a woman in her 50s, Margot (Gabrielle Rose, best known for her role as Dolores in the 1997 Canadian film The Sweet Hereafter), suffers from a failing marriage leaving her sleepless and shrinking as she loses touch with her memory and sense of personal identity. Meanwhile, Luk 'Luk 'i: Mother documents the struggles of a mother and aboriginal woman, Stoney (Angel Gates), as

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