Reviews

Coming of Age Near Thunder Bay

Rebekah Chotem

Sleeping Giant is a coming-of-age film directed by Andrew Cividino, set in a sleepy cottage town thirty minutes east of Thunder Bay. The publicity posters herald it as Canada’s answer to Boyhood, Richard Linklater’s twelve-year project and 215 Oscar-winning film. It isn’t—nor is it trying to be. But like any good coming-of-age story it has awkwardly cast teenagers, a formative summer in which the boredom is palpable, underage drinking, tomfoolery, destruction of nature, a little theft and an underlying burgeoning sexual tension. The film contains one giant metaphor—a 1-foot rock that the three main characters risk their adolescent lives to jump off. The cliff itself is situated on Caribou Island, a small uninhibited island at the eastern edge of Lake Superior. It was considered for use as an emergency landing airport in World War II, but the plan was abandoned because of the island’s proximity to the twin cities Sault Ste. Marie in Michigan and Ontario. It is home to deer and the occasional eagle, but there are currently no caribou.

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