The first feature film of self-taught Rhayne Vermette’s is named after the place where the story takes place: Sainte Anne, Manitoba, the original territory of the Métis nation, to which the director’s family belongs. The plot tells the story of Renée (played by Vermette herself), a woman who, after having disappeared for several years, returns to the house where her daughter was left in the care of Renée’s brother and his wife. During the re-encounter, however, the possibility of a new disappearance looms. In this relationship of absent presence, the main character elaborates around a symbolic space that she seeks to recover. However, this space is empty and lost, just like her native nation. The experimental moving images show the dissociated fragments of the main character while the scenes look intermittent, blurred, contrasting, and incongruous. The dreamlike passages are musicalized with chords that match the rhythm of the images. With hues of video poetry, Ste. Anne was filmed in 16 mm. It was produced with the support of governments and indigenous associations in Canada.
Review by: Leticia Chaurand