Director: Kevan Funk
CANADA, 2016 English 110 minutes
Cast: Sara Canning, Jared Abrahamson, Ian Tracey
FILMED IN PRINCE GEORGE!
2016 TIFF Rising Star Jared Abrahamson stars in this uncompromising first feature from Vancouver director Kevan Funk, about a young minor-league hockey player who discovers the unforgiving nature of his sporting life. Hello Destroyer raises deeply troubling questions about how we teach boys to become adults, particularly within the context of Canada’s national obsession.
A new recruit for the Prince George Warriors, Tyson Burr is an enforcer whose primary tasks are digging the puck out of corners and protecting more skilled team- mates. Tyson is painfully shy and inarticulate, the result of growing up with a dismissive and impatient father — and being raised in a world that places little value on emotional development.
The lone articulate character in Tyson’s world is his coach, Dale Milbury (Kurt Max Runte), who spews forth an endless string of asinine clichés, coercing evermore aggression from his players. Spurred on by Milbury, Tyson inadvertently injures an opposing player, and soon finds out that the “family” he has grown up in is a lot more self-serving than he thought.
Shot in tight close-ups that brilliantly mirror Tyson’s confused and constantly anxious head space, Hello Destroyer is driven by Abrahamson’s amazing performance and director Funk’s fearlessness. Few Canadian artists have had the courage to question our assumptions about our national game, and fewer still have mounted such a forceful cri- tique of an athletics system that forges young boys into weapons and then abandons them when they become inconvenient.