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Abolition

World Premiere

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Hosted by Director Mike Klassen

Screening Times

Credits

Director: Mike Klassen
Screenplay: Mike Klassen, Chantelle Kadyschuk, Chris Lawson
Cast: Andrew Roth, Caroline Williams, Reggie Bannister, Elissa Dowling
Producers: Mike Klassen, Chantelle Kadyschuk
Print Source: SKG Films

Indie

Description

Joshua (Andrew Roth) is a frayed-at-the-edges janitor whose life is at a standstill. Laid off from his job, he drifts around the city, aimless and lonely, praying for some sort of deliverance from the fringe-dwelling he seems forever chained too. See, Joshua is blessed (or cursed) with powers to save, powers slightly beyond his control. But the very same preternatural gift he uses to deliver people from harm also provokes him to destroy those who dare cross him. After a series of events lead him to gain employment as handyman in an apartment building, Joshua’s meandering and confounding existence begins to take on a sharp focus. Befriending a put-upon female resident (Elissa Dowling) that he saves from a mugging, and taken in by a kindly ex-priest (PHANTASM’s Reggie Bannister), the confused and haunted hero slowly begins to think he may be the second coming… or maybe even the antichrist.

Up-and-coming Canadian filmmaker Mike Klassen’s ABOLITION is something of a marvel — a moody, tightly wound indie thriller that defies its low budget at every turn, exemplifying craft and storytelling in ways that its bigger Hollywood brothers rarely do. Klassen’s original concept was to blend two of his favourite movies, films that are iconic examples of both their respectable genres — Martin Scorsese’s landmark neo-noir TAXI DRIVER and William Friedkin’s still-shocking masterpiece of theological terror, THE EXORCIST. And surely there are many clear thematic lines between those two classic films and ABOLITION. All three sport strong attention to character arcs, atmosphere, psychological drama and flawed protagonists. There’s also a strong sense of music as a driving character, with gentle piano motifs running through ABOLITION’s running time like spidery veins. But most importantly, ABOLITION is both ambitious and intimate, an epic film that never overplays its hand, favouring ambiguity over spectacle and leaving you with one burning desire when it fades to black: to watch it again.

—Chris Alexander

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