Before Tomorrow

Director: Marie-Hélène Cousineau

The remarkable films out of Canada’s north over the past decade have been dominated by men, in particular Zacharias Kunuk and Norman Cohn, the duo behind Atanarjuat (The Fast Runner) and The Journals of Knud Rasmussen.

The women of Nunavut are now finding their voice, with Before Tomorrow, a drama of family love in the midst of isolation and a smallpox tragedy.

Director Marie-Hélène Cousineau founded Arnait Video Productions, a video workshop for Inuit women that is allied with Igloolik Isuma Productions, which Kunuk and Cohn co-founded. The Montreal-born Cousineau worked with community elder and actor Madeline Piujuq Ivalu, who is also the film’s female lead.

The prize-winner for Best Canadian First Feature at TIFF ’08, Before Tomorrow displays superior storytelling flair in a drama of an elderly woman trapped on a remote island with her teen grandson when a fall ritual goes drastically awry.