'The Corruption of Divine Providence' Review | Canadian Film Fest 2021
Canadian Film Fest 2021 ran from April 1–17 and was presented by Super Channel. A lot of phenomenal Canadian-made movies were a part of the line up and I was fortunate to get to watch a few.
The Corruption of Divine Providence (2020)
White Bear Films // Filmoption International
Director/Writer: Jeremy Torrie
Cast: Ali Skovbye, Elyse Levesque, David La Haye, Corey Sevier, Tantoo Cardinal
Synopsis: When a sixteen year-old Stigmatic Metis girl is kidnapped from a small town, three different religious factions vie for control over her upon her eventual return.
In a small fictional town in Manitoba, a teenage Métis girl, Jeanne (Ali Skovbye), wakes up with stigmata wounds. Her father, Louis (David La Haye), sees this as an opportunity to cash in with a television pastor, while her mother Danielle (Elyse Levesque) is less convinced. Louis is a devout Christian who thinks that his daughter is chosen from God and resists any interference from traditional Indigenous spiritualism from the local community. The Corruption of Divine Providence explores the altruism and commercialism of religion and the hypocrisy of its followers.
Religion is a topic I'm endlessly fascinated by and I respect Jeremy Torrie for tackling not only religion as a concept, but religion within the context of Indigenous communities. The Corruption of Divine Providence is a wild ride that is part horror, part thriller, with a cold cinematography that plays to the bleakness of the family's situation. Torrie uses sound design masterfully to really emphasize the tension in each scene.
The film attempts to explore some very difficult issues and doesn't seek to provide any answers but instead acts as a starting point for discussion. While I respect Torrie for not wanting to preach to audiences, I do wish that instead of just touching on multiple issues, a couple (or even one) was thoroughly dissected.
The performances across the board are all fantastic. Levesque absolutely shines as a strong woman in a bad marriage who is willing to do anything to protect her children. La Haye is menacing and at times, absolutely terrifying as Louis -- I had genuine moments of discomfort watching his character on screen. Skovbye does what she can with the material she was given. Although Jeanne is the focal point of the plot, her character is oddly under-developed. And last but certainly not least, in a quick supporting role, the Cree/Métis icon herself, Tantoo Cardinal shines as the knowledgeable Juniper whom Dani consults.
I enjoyed watching The Corruption of Divine Providence -- it hits a lot of points that I'm really interested in and found it to be compelling. I just wish that it pushed a little bit more on some issues.