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Review: Luk’Luk’I is a thoughtful, low-budget docu-drama exploring Vancouver’s underbelly

Ken Harrower and Angela Dawson in Luk'Luk'I.

  • Luk’Luk’l
  • Directed by: Wayne Wapeemukwa
  • Written by: Wayne Wapeemukwa, Eric Buurman, Angela Dawson, Angel Gates, Ken Harrower, and Mark McKay
  • Starring: Angel Gates and Ken Harrower
  • Classification: 18A; 90 minutes

rating

We like our Hockey Day in Canada broadcasts to celebrate picturesque toque-and-skate places such as Corner Brook, Nfld., and Kenora, Ont., but Vancouver filmmaker Wayne Wapeemukwa takes his camera instead to his city’s underbelly for a thoughtful, low-budget docu-drama on five low-fliers. They’re the oddballs and the junkies, the wheelchair-bound lonely and the sex-trade flunkies. Against the backdrop of the 2010 Winter Olympics (and, specifically, the ice-hockey matches) their lives play out on the fringe. They play bingo, they stick needles in their veins, they live without love or hope. While we root for overdog Team Canada, we avert our eyes when it comes to the underdogs. The film is sobering but rough around the edges – more of a series of only occasionally overlapping vignettes as opposed to a fully realized feature.

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