- 1h 42m
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In a small Arctic town struggling with the highest suicide rate in North America, a group of Inuit students are initially resistant when a naïve & culturally ignorant teacher introduces them to lacrosse. Gradually, they begin to connect with each other as teammates and the students find inspiration to make profound shifts in their lives. In what initially seems like mild after-school fun, the players learn to lead each other and look to compete in the National Lacrosse Championships, and in the process transform their struggling community into a model of hope and youth-led resilience.
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Common Sense Media
Common Sense Says
Powerful Canadian sports drama promotes understanding.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Grizzlies is a powerful drama based on a true story. It follows Russ Sheppard (Ben Schnetzer), a newly graduated White teacher from the city who takes what he thinks will be a resume-building assignment in Kugluktuk, a remote Canadian Indigenous community. His students are grappling with serious challenges, including poverty, hunger, domestic violence (with punches, bruises, and blood), substance abuse, and being unhoused. The Nunavut territory is also facing an epidemic of teen suicide. The movie lays out that all of this is part of ongoing intergenerational trauma due to the pain and struggle of colonialism. Many characters, including teens, frequently drink hard liquor and smoke both cigarettes and pot; the substance use isn't glamorized. Strong language includes "f--k," "s--t," and more, and guns are used for hunting. Sheppard's character falls into "White savior" territory -- he thinks he can "fix" his Inuit students and their community -- but his lack of understanding of their culture leads to dire consequences. Ultimately, the story sends the message that there's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution and makes clear the damage people can do when they try to impress their way of life onto an unfamiliar culture. It also celebrates teamwork and sports as a means to increased hope and self-esteem.
A Lot or A Little?
The parents’ guide to what’s in this movie.
Positive Role Models
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
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- Release Date:October 6, 2020
- Audio Format:5.1
- Screen Pass Eligible:No
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